The proposal is expected to drop charges to as low as 15 centavos per SMS and Php 1 per minute voice call in 3 years time from implementation. Currently, Philippine Telcos are imposing interconnection charges to consumers amounting to 35 centavos per SMS sent and Php 4 per minute of calls made.
Interconnection charges are fees paid by consumers on top of the regular rates on its respective networks when using services like SMS and voice call across other networks. The charges is for collecting and delivering SMS and voice calls, operation and maintenance of interconnect infrastructure, and among other services involved in interconnection.
The figures above explain that if today consumers are paying Php 1 per SMS and Php 6.50 per minute of call to other networks, without the interconnection charges – the rate is actually just 65 centavos per SMS and Php 2.50 per minute call. If NTC’s proposal is implemented, consumers only have to pay as low as 80 centavos per SMS and Php 3.50 per minute of call across other networks.
Though NTC’s move will certainly benefit consumers, it’s no doubt it would cost Telcos billions of pesos in revenue loses.
Major players in the Philippine telecommunications industry have already expressed their respective concerns regarding NTC’s proposal. Still yet, the regulators’ draft circular has to go a thorough evaluation to establish and finally settle what could be fair interconnections charges between all involved parties.
More on this once the story develops, but for the meantime – you can leave your thoughts regarding NTC’s proposal in the comment section below.