NTC slashes interconnection rates on text messages, voice calls

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FILE PHOTO: A woman uses her cell phones in Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 30, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) effectively reduced interconnection rates on text messages and voice calls.

According to NTC Memorandum 05-07-2018 dated July 19, Smart Communications and Globe Telecom are ordered to lower interconnection charges for short messaging services (SMS) from P0.15 to P0.05 per text, and from P2.50 to P0.50 per minute for mobile phone calls.

The order, according to NTC, aimed to make “voice and SMS more affordable to the general public.”

The agency said the prevailing interconnection charges in the Philippines “are high compared to most ASEAN countries” citing a report from the International Journal of Computer Networking Wireless and Mobile Communications (2016).

The report said that while Singapore and Myanmar do  not charge for such services, interconnection rates for voice calls in Cambodia stood at P2.42 per minute; Vietnam, P1.26; Indonesia, P0.93; Thailand, P0.56; and Malaysia, P0.48.

The circular shall take effect 15 days after publication in newspapers of general circulation. — Marje Pelayo

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