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Globe, Smart reminded on text rate cut

/ 11:35 PM November 11, 2011

Text messaging rates are set to go down by the end of the month following an order by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for mobile networks to bring down interconnection rates and pass on savings to consumers.

In letters sent Thursday, the NTC reminded mobile networks’ Smart Communications and Globe Telecom that the regulator’s previous ruling on lower interconnection rates took effect this week.

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“Memorandum Circular No. 02-10-2011 prescribing the maximum interconnection charge for short messaging service to 15 centavos per text message will take effect on [Nov. 10, 2011],” NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said.

This will be a 20-centavo reduction from the current interconnection charge of 25 centavos. This will translate to a 20-centavo cut in the cost of each text message, which is P1 each on Saturday.

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“While the said [order] provides that the new interconnection charge shall not be imposed not later than 20 days from the circular’s effectivity, the commission is requesting that the regular rates for SMS be reduced by at least 20 centavos on November 10,” Cordoba said.

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

Due to the popularity of bucket-priced and unlimited promo offers, the cost of voice calls and text messages for subscribers in the same network has gone down substantially for most mobile phone users.

The NTC had said that the cut in the interconnection charge for text messaging service was one of several policy initiatives enacted by the agency that would redound to the benefit of millions of consumers through lower and affordable telecommunications costs, better and quality service and new, innovative and consumer-friendly products.—Paolo G. Montecillo

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TAGS: National Telecommunications Commission, NTC order, telecom, Telecommunications, text messaging
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