Lower interconnection charges favor incoming third major telco player

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2018 04:54 PM

A student uses her mobile phone at the University of the Philippines on Tuesday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The incoming third major telecommunications player could benefit from the lowered interconnection rates for network to network calls and text messaging, an official said Thursday.

It might reduce costs for the new player since most of its future subscribers are likely to call or text people that are using Globe or Smart sim cards, deputy commissioner of National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Ed Cabarrios told DZMM radio.

The NTC lowered interconnection rates for calls to P0.50 from P2.50 per minute and text messages to P0.05 from P0.15 in a memorandum which took effect last Sept. 1.

"Ito pong pagbaba ng interconnection rates pabor na pabor po ito sa new player kasi ang tendency po kasi pagkakaunti pa ang subscribers mo halos lahat ng subscribers mo tatawag sa kabilang network," Cabarrios said. 

(This lowered interconnection rates favor the new player because the tendency, if they have a small user-base, most subscribers will call other networks)

Over 130 million sim cards are in active service but the third player can still easily grow its user-base, Cabarrios said. 

It can reduce costs to users, offer better service or combine both to entice users to shift, Cabarrios said. 

"Magiging mas maganda po ang competition so inaasahan po dyan," Cabarrios said. 

(We expect better competition from that.)

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the NTC released the final and official memorandum circular on the rules and regulations for the selection of the country's third major telecommunications player last Sept. 21. 

Authorities said the third major player could be identified by December.