PLDT says DITO's complaint 'baseless'; fraud calls causing Smart revenue losses

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 12 2022 09:32 AM

MANILA - DITO Telecommunity’s complaint that Smart Communications is abusing its dominant position is “baseless", PLDT Inc said, adding that fraudulent international calls are causing revenue losses. 

"DITO’s claim that SMART is engaged in anti-competitive behavior is clearly baseless and meant to avoid: (i) responsibility for the establishment of operational coordination and fraud detection measures to mitigate and avoid, track and block illegal bypass traffic,” PLDT said in a statement. 

The telco giant said Smart subscribers were affected by DITO's vulnerable network where fraudulent calls could pass masked as DITO numbers as well as from spam or robot calls from overseas sources, it added.

Fraudulent calls from international bypass traffic have been detected shortly after Smart and DITO signed an interconnection deal in 2021, PLDT said. These calls should be subject to proper toll rates, it added. 

“This has resulted in poor customer experience and revenue losses on the part of SMART,” the telco said.

“We stress that DITO’s request for capacity augmentation must be evaluated from the lens of fairness, and that the duty to interconnect must not be used as a shield for the perpetuation of fraud to the detriment of SMART subscribers, with concomitant adverse financial impact to SMART,” it added.

PLDT said Smart has yet to receive a copy of the complaint as of Aug.11 but it reiterated that it is not engaged in any act that constitutes as abuse of dominant position or any anti-competitive act.

Globe Telecom also earlier asked the National Telecommunications Commission to urge DITO to settle P622 million in fines due to interconnection violations.

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