NTC to probe why telcos did not lower SMS fees

Posted at 12/01/11 12:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The National Telecommunciations Commission (NTC) is investigating complaints that some mobile operators failed to comply with its order to reduce interconnection fees for text messaging.

Interconnection fees are charged by telecom firms for text messages and calls made between subscribers of different networks.

The NTC order covering SMS rates alone took effect on Wednesday (November 30) but consumers complained text message costs have not gone down.

Mobile operators -- Globe Telecom, Smart and Sun Cellular -- were supposed to reduce the interconnection charge to 15 centavos from 25 centavos, therefore, reducing the cost of a text message to 80 centavos from P1.

The telcos seemed to have interpreted NTC's order differently.

Smart said its average text message cost now only amounts to 10 centavos, given its different promos.

Globe Telecom and Sun Cellular echoed Smart's explanation, citing their own unlimited text promos.

The NTC asserted, however, that its directive does not cover promos but regular text messages.

"The Commission has scheduled a meeting with telco companies tomorrow (December 2) to clarify this issue. The Commission is also wondering why they have not implemented our order," NTC Director Edgardo Cabarrios said in an interview with radio dzMM. -- With a report from ANC