NTC not likely to scrap cellphone 'load' expiry date

Posted at 09/10/2012 10:43 AM | Updated as of 09/10/2012 6:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is not likely to remove the expiration of cellphone "load" for pre-paid subscribers.

NTC director Edgardo Cabarios said based on its initial study, it appears that removing the validity period of pre-paid "load" will only increase the cost of mobile phone services.

"Base po sa aming study, mukha pong imbis na makabuti baka ho magpataas pa ng presyo ng mga serbisyo sa mga mobile phones," he told DZMM's Noli de Castro.

At present, a "load" of between P1 to P10 is valid only for 3 days; P11-50 for 15 days; P51-100 for 1 month; P101-300 for 75 days; and above P300 for 4 months.

Cabarios said SIM cards that are active still use the facilities of telecommunications companies
"Pag-active ang ating SIM card eh gumagamit ng facilidad ng telco maski di ginagamit kasi hinahap po ang signal... If remain active, maski P1 ang load eh gumagamit ng facilidad ng telco," he said.

He noted that Smart Communications' average cost per subscriber a day is P3, while for Globe Telecom, it is more than P8 a day.

If the pre-paid user does not "load" their mobile phones, the cost of the service is being subsidized by post-paid susbcribers.  "Hindi feasible kasi in the long run malaki ang subsidy," Cabarios said.

However, Cabarios said the NTC will continue to study the proposed removal of the expiration of cellphone "load" for pre-paid subscribers.

"Patuloy na pinag-aaralan yan. Baka posible na i-extend or pahabaain ang validity ng pre-paid load if di puede tanggalin ang expiration," he said.

Earlier, the NTC said lifting or extending the expiration on cellphone load will benefit almost 90 million prepaid cellphone units.