Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Thursday, April 28, 2011

NTC starts review of PLDT, Digitel merger

By Vernadette Joven (philstar.com)

An official of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said today that the agency is taking into consideration the position paper submitted by Globe Telecom on the merger announcement made by PLDT and Digitel.

In a phone interview with Philstar.com, NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said that they already began the review of the merger and will consider Globe’s position paper as an input and part of the review.

“I already read the letter and we at the NTC together with the Department of Justice and the economic team are already studying the PLDT-Digitel deal, as mandated by President Aquino,” Cordoba said.

The NTC official, meanwhile, asked for patience from the stakeholders because it would take some time before they can issue a decision on the controversial merger.

He said they have to take into consideration a lot of factors coming from different business industries that would be affected by the merger.

Two weeks ago, during the field training and live firing exercises for Balikatan 2011 in Nueva Ecija, President Benigno Aquino III said he would order NTC, the Department of Justice and his economic team to study the merger thoroughly.

“We want to ensure that there is a level playing field,” President Aquino said.

In its position paper, Globe cited threats to free competition and urged the NTC to act within its legal mandate to enforce and implement the Public Telecommunications Policy Act.

“If they (NTC) must approve the deal, do so but there are rules to follow which is already being commonly practiced in other countries,” said Atty. Rodolfo Salalima, chief legal counsel of Globe Telecom.

Salalima added that the NTC should no longer wait for PLDT to submit documents pertaining to the merger to determine whether it breached the clause of free competition.

He said that the NTC should also be able to clear the frequency allocation issue and whether the dominant carrier should return part of its frequency back to the government.

The PLDT Group, which already filed the acquisition deal last week, remains optimistic that they will be able to obtain the necessary approval before the deadline they set for the merger by the end of June.

Atty. Ray Espinosa, PLDT head of regulatory affairs and policy, calls the issues raised by Globe as a regulatory blackmail to gain leverage and exact concessions from PLDT, through NTC.

“Globe speaks of monopoly even as its controlling shareholder, have institutionalized combinations in restraint of trade, which is illegal,” Espinosa said.

Espinosa said that the issue on frequency allocation should focus on the efficiency of frequency utilization and subscriber base/usage, not on the network infrastructure, which is dependent on investment.

He added that they even have pending requests from NTC for more frequency allocation to serve more subscribers since the company has already fully utilized the frequency allocated to them.

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Globe pushes interconnection with other telcos

GLOBE TELECOM, Inc. wants to beef up interconnection with Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), Bayan Telecommunications Inc. (Bayantel), and Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (Digitel) this year in key cities outside the National Capital Region.

Froilan Castelo, Globe Telecom's head of corporate and legal services, said in a statement the company wanted to complete more interconnection agreements by the end of this year.

"Even if competition in the local telecommunication industry is intense, we must be able to put this aside for the public good. Interconnection is a win-win for everyone," he said. Globe Telecom pointed out that interconnection meant residents and business establishments in the provinces and cities can make local calls to other telcos without extra charges.

"Without interconnection, a Globe Telecom landline subscriber has to pay long-distance rates to call a Digitel, PLDT or Bayantel landline subscriber within the same area, and vice-versa," it said.

The company plans to pursue interconnection talks with PLDT for Zamboanga City, Baguio, and Pampanga within this year, he said. "The interconnection plans are done following the successful interconnection of the two telecommunication companies in Davao City last July. Also in the lineup are Laguna, La Union and Batangas," Globe Telecom said.

Globe Telecom also said it wanted interconnection with Digitel for the provinces of Ilocos Sur, Nueva Vizcaya, Bataan, Lucena, Quezon, and Camarines Norte by end of 2010, after the link-up of their local networks in Zambales and Isabela last month.

"[When] the last five Points of Interconnection (POIs) between Globe and Digitel [are] completed, the two firms will have achieved 100% total interconnection in all areas where they operate nationwide," Globe Telecom said.

Meanwhile, Globe Telecom said 90% of common areas with Bayantel have been interconnected, the most recent of which is in the province of Eastern Samar, which took effect last Sept. 6.

The National Telecommunications Commission requires interconnection of public telecommunications carriers under Republic Act No. 7925, or the Public Telecommunications Policy Act of 1995 which broke PLDT's monopoly.

Mediaquest Holdings, Inc., a unit of the Beneficial Trust Fund of PLDT, has a minority stake in BusinessW

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Friday, February 12, 2010


National Telecommunications Commission

Office Order 115-12-2009

Schedule of Regular Radio Operators' Examinations in the Regional Offices for the year of 2010.

Pursuant to existing Radio laws and Regulations and in the interest of public service, the schedule of the radio operators' examinations for the year 2010 is hereby issued, including the place of the exam, date of exam and deadline for submission of applications, as follows :-

Date of ExamRegional OfficePlace of ExamDeadline of submission of application
February 27 2010IINueva VizcayaJanuary 27 2010
March 20 2010CARBaguio CityFebruary 20 2010
March 27 2010XCagayan de Oro CityFebruary 27 2010
April 17 2010XIIITacloban CityMarch 18 2010
April 24 2010ISan Fernando La UnionMarch 24 2010
May 16 2010VLegaspi CityApril 16 2010
May 22 2010IXDavao CityApril 22 2010
May 29 2010VIIloilo CityApril 29 2010
June 5 2010VIICebu CityMay 5 2010
June 19 2010XIIGeneral Santos CityMay 19 2010
June 26 2010IXZamboanga CityMay 26 2010
July 2 2010 (Friday)IIISan Fernando City PampangaJune 2 2010
September 4 2010CARAGAButuan CityAugust 4 2010
September 18 2010XIIGeneral Santos CityAugust 19 2010
October 2 2010IVLagunaSeptember 2 2010
October 9 2010IIISubic ZambalesSeptember 9 2010
October 16 2010VIICebu CitySeptember 16 2010
October 23 2010XIDavao CitySeptember 23 2010
November 6 2010IDagupan CitySeptember 6 2010
November 20 2010VIBacolod CityOctober 20 2010
November 27 2010CARBaguio CityOctober 27 2010
December IV 2009IXDipolog CityNovember 4 2010

The master list of examinees shall be forwarded to the Radio Operators Examination Committee (ROEC) at least two (2) weeks prior to exam date.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

NBI runs after hackers

by Hector Lawas - Journal online

THE National Bureau of Investigation stepped into the recent incidents of hacking government websites.

The NBI Anti-Computer Crimes Division said it is now verifying information that one source of the hackers is Indonesia.

Hackers defaced the websites of the Department of Health, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, National Disaster Coordinating Council and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, among others.

The NBI said it will use the legal means provided under the E-Commerce Law and Republic Act 8792 otherwise known as an “An Act Providing and Use of Electronic Commercial and Non-Commercial transactions, Penalties for Unlawful Use Thereof and other Purposes to prosecute the hackers.

“Defacing the website is one form of hacking. We are not ruling out the possibility that those behind the defacing of government agencies’ websites belong to the same group,” NBI-ACCD chief Palmer Mallari said.

Mallari said they have come up with steps to unmask the identity of the hackers.

“Coordination with the concerned agencies will be done. Then we have to know who are web-hosting the company or companies who made their respective websites and then we are going to know the IP address used by these hackers. We are also coordinating with the telecommunication sector. After gathering the pieces of evidence, we will apply for search warrant,” he said.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

SBMA, PLDT team up to push Subic’s info, communications tech potential

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—After lagging behind in the race to be a leading player in the country’s growing information and communications technology (ICT) industry, the Subic Bay Free Port is now poised to blaze a trail in the knowledge-based sector and catch up with the competition this year.

Armand Arreza, administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), said the agency is determined “on having Subic take the path to knowledge-based industries” by teaming up with telecommunications giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) in various ICT projects in this free port.

“This would put Subic at the frontlines of the country’s information and communications technology sector,” Arreza said in a statement on Thursday.

“With PLDT as partner, the Subic Bay Free Port can now shift from labor-intensive to knowledge-based industries, guided by the emerging trends in the information-technology [IT] sector,” he said.

To seal this partnership, the SBMA and PLDT, along with PLDT subsidiary Subic Telecom (Subictel), are set to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) sometime this month, Arreza said.

The MOU is expected to pave the way for tripartite collaborative projects that would benefit the Subic Bay Free Port’s ICT industry.

Arreza added that the SBMA wanted to ride the anticipated boom in the ICT industry, which some IT analysts said may grow by 30 percent to 35 percent annually, and could generate 1 million new jobs in 2010 alone.

SBMA’s partner Subictel said that the joint effort would basically promote this free port’s emerging IT capabilities and enable Subic to directly compete with leading ICT players like Manila, Cebu, Davao and Laguna.

“We would like to position Subic in the forefront as one of the newest choices when it comes to ICT,” said Subictel president Dennis Magbatoc.

He said the projects would bank on PLDT’s most recent ICT investments here that are worth more than P40 million. The investments are PLDT’s fiber optics cable linking Subic to Manila and the entire Luzon grid, and the P20-million Innovation Laboratory (Innolab) that Subictel unveiled last October.

The Subic Innolab, the fifth of its kind in the country, is designed to highlight Subic Bay’s IT and telecommunications infrastructure, as well as the available and soon-to-be-offered telecoms solutions for business-process outsourcing (BPO) operations, retail and  manufacturing businesses, and even the hotel industry.

Arreza said Subictel’s IT facility, which is located beside Subic’s famous Spanish Gate landmark, has been included in the itinerary for potential investors visiting this former naval base.

“With this one-stop IT center, the SBMA will get to showcase the IT aspect of doing business in Subic, on top of its other strengths, like strategic location, tax and duty-free perks, highly skilled manpower, superb support industries and infrastructure, and a highly secured and tourist-friendly environment,” said Arreza.

He added that when it comes to IT support, the Subic Free Port now “has everything and anything you need,” echoing the “fully loaded” theme of the Innolab facility.

To further encourage knowledge-based industries, Arreza also said the SBMA has approved the shift in Subic’s development program to vertical expansion.

This would allow the construction of tall buildings that could accommodate a full range of BPO and IT-related services like back-office outsourcing, software and games development, engineering design and digital animation Arreza said. Written by Henry Empeño / Business Mirror Correspondent
Prof Danny Piano, Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce President, Councilor Ed Piano, Chairman of Olongapo City Telecom and IT Board, and Hon. Armand Arreza talked about the latest in telecommunications in Olongapo City Subic Bay Freeport.

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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Reorganize NTC

By: Jester P. Manalastas - People's journal

TWO lawmakers proposed the reorganization of the National Telecommunications Commission to meet the rapid developments in information and communication technologies.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Villafuerte have filed House Bill 6968 seeking to reorganize and strengthen the powers of the NTC.

Romualdez called for the immediate approval of the bill, saying that governments of other countries have devoted efforts towards the development and management of information systems to streamline and improve efficiency in the delivery of basic services to the people.

Villafuerte said it has become imperative for the government to provide a regulatory environment to develop a viable, adequate, efficient and universal information and communications sector using the best available and affordable technologies.

“Universal access to reliable and affordable services must be ensured and the interest and welfare of both the industry players and the consuming public must be protected,” he said.

Aside from granting the NTC fiscal autonomy, it shall have jurisdiction over all persons and entities engaged in the operation and/or provision of information and communications telecommunications, broadcast, cable TV and other multi-media infrastructure and services.

It shall also have the power to establish standards, specifications, measures, guidelines, rules and regulations that will govern the operations of service providers in the areas of information and communications technology, broadcast, cable TV and other multi-media service providers.

Under the bill, the NTC should establish a rigorous training program which includes the setting up of training center for its personnel to enhance the technical and regulatory competence of the Commission in the monitoring and enforcement of laws, rules and regulations and compliance thereof.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

NTC expanding telco billing reform

Written by Miguel R. Camus / Business Mirror Reporter

THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) plans to expand its newly implemented billing scheme currently covering calls among cell phone users, to include those made to wireless and traditional landlines.

On Sunday, the regulator started a billing regime which effectively requires telecommunication firms to charge local cell phone-to-cell phone calls by six second “pulses” instead of the traditional per-minute charge.

Based on the rates approved by the NTC, the cost of a full minute should not exceed the assumed prevailing rate of P7.50, thereby giving consumers the option to pay for the time actually used at no extra cost.

Beyond this, the NTC is also working on new rules to include wireless and traditional landlines in the per pulse billing scheme.

“Eventually this will follow,” said NTC deputy commissioner Douglas Michael N. Mallillin at the sidelines of a press briefing held Saturday.

He explained that there is a growing popularity for calls between cell phone and landlines, which is not covered by the six-second billing scheme. Mallillin said it makes sense for landlines to follow suit since their usage might drop if consumers feel that they can save more through cell phone-to-cell phone voice calls.

He declined to comment on a specific time frame, however, noting that public hearings in Congress will still have to be held.

This is part of the NTC’s longer term goal to bring down local mobile call billing on a per-second charge, similar to the US, Hong Kong and Singapore.

“We are going on six and eventually [if we can] per second,” said Mallillin.

Already ahead of this, Ayala-led Globe Telecom offered a new per second billing scheme to coincide with the NTC regime.

Globe and Touch Mobile users will be charged 5 centavos per second on Sunday and 10 centavos per second for the rest of the week.

This amounts to P3 per minute on Sunday and P6 per minute from Monday to Saturday.

"We hope to stimulate and drive call usage among heavy texters, especially during this season," said Globe president Ernest L. Cu.

The landmark six-second pulse billing was a result of the collaboration—in the wake of a clamor from consumer groups—between the NTC, the Philippine Senate and major telecommunication firms Sun Cellular, Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.

The rules, which took effect 12:01 a.m. Sunday, will initially cover intra-network calls (meaning those within the same network such as Globe to Globe, Smart to Smart and Sun to Sun calls). Cross-network calls for the new regime will start on December 16, after the major telcos asked for an extension to prepare their systems.

The major telcos had earlier asked the NTC to move the implementation date to the end of January 2010, citing difficulties arising from increased network traffic in December.

The new regime is also assigned as the default billing mode, meaning subscribers can be charged on the minute-per-pulse basis if they actively enroll in those schemes.

Under the rule, the NTC said that for the 10 six- second pulses in a minute, the first two pulses or 12 seconds shall not exceed the “flagdown rate” of P3; while the remaining eight shall not exceed the P7.50 prevailing rate for the full minute.

For instance, at the flagdown rate of P3 with the succeeding pulses costing P0.56 each, the total bill for a 30-second voice call will only be P4.59 compared to the full-minute charge of P7.50 under the old scheme.

The cost per pulse for succeeding minutes after the first will cost P0.75 each.

“The consuming public will be happier with this regime. The [new] system is already an advantage to the consuming public,” said Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile at the briefing.

Smart Communications and Sun Celluar officials could not be reached for comment yesterday. Globe

Mallillin said the NTC will monitor the new rates over the next two to three months to determine the effects on the telco firms and consumers.

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