MANILA (UPDATE) - Smart Communications Inc lashed back at DITO Telecommunity on Tuesday, accusing the third telco of not doing enough to curb "fraudulent calls" which it said is affecting interconnection between the two networks.
“Simply put, DITO has failed to prevent its network from being misused for fraud, with DITO SIMs masking international calls as domestic, resulting in huge monetary losses for Smart,” said Roy Ibay, Smart’s vice president for regulatory affairs.
Smart’s reply to DITO came on the same day that Globe Telecom accused the Dennis Uy-led telco of owing it P622 million in “interconnect penalties.”
DITO on Monday filed a complaint before the Philippine Competition Commission accusing PLDT-Smart and Globe of abusing their dominant position. It said calls from its subscribers were not getting through the networks of the two established telcos.
“This is simply false,” Ibay said in response to DITO’s allegation.
Smart said DITO is requesting for additional interconnection capacity via petition to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), where it is pending.
“DITO’s filing of the PCC complaint on the same subject-matter is blatant forum-shopping,” Ibay said.
Smart said DITO asked for extra capacity for interconnection, citing congestion.
But "DITO should first clamp down on its subscribers who have abused the interconnection framework to make fraudulent international calls to Smart subscribers under local rates," Smart said.
“Simply put, DITO has failed to prevent its network from being misused for fraud, with DITO SIMs masking international calls as domestic, resulting in huge monetary losses for Smart,” Ibay said.
Smart said it can track and block illegal calls emanating from its end.
The firm said it may grant DITO additional capacity if the new telco agrees “to compensate Smart fairly in the event that such fraudulent calls continue to proliferate.”
“Otherwise, Smart cannot allow its interconnection arrangement with DITO to perpetuate fraud,” Ibay said.
DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano denied that the new telco was not doing anything to stop illegal calls.
He said that the illegal calls were made by a third party, and just like Smart and Globe, DITO is also a victim.
"These ISR calls are not made by DITO. Rather, these are fraudulent calls made by third parties – and DITO is equally a victim of such calls. Additionally, there are also ISR calls from Smart to DITO. It is not true that DITO has not taken steps to stop ISR calls to Smart," Tamano said in a statement.
Tamano said they will push ahead with their case filed with the PCC.