Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, October 29, 2005

ABS-CBN expects hefty profits from Internet TV

By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes, The Philippine Star

ABS-CBN expects its Internet television business to be a major revenue earner as company officials project the number of subscribers to easily double by next year.

Through ABS-CBNnow!, an Internet-based video-on-demand service, viewers, primarily the overseas Filipino workers, anywhere in the world can watch ABS-CBN programs using a personal computer with high-speed Internet or broadband connection.

ABS-CBNnow! sales and marketing director Rowell Tolentino revealed that their Internet tv service currently has 23,000 subscribers worldwide. "Our target is to add another 23,000 by next year or to double our existing subscriber base. We also expect the average revenue per user to increase," he said.

The biggest share of subscribers comes from Filipinos in the United States, more than 8,000 of who have subscribed to ABS-CBNnow! Another 6,000 are in the United Kingdom, 4,000 in Canada, and the rest in Korea, Japan, and the Philippines and other Asian countries. In the Philippines, there are around 700 customers for the service which was launched in April of last year.

While the Middle East is a potentially huge market, Tolentino said the limitation is that Filipinos there have no credit cards. "Their option is to have their relatives in the Philippines buy the prepaid cards and just send the personal identification number (PIN) to them," he suggested.

In Japan, he disclosed that a Japanese broadband provider which has 15 million subscribers is currently in talks with ABS-CBNnow! for the latter to provide content.

Tolentino revealed that their subscriber base has been increasing at a rate of more than 1,000 every month. For a subscription fee of $4.95 per month, Filipinos abroad can access through the Internet 87 ABS-CBN shows, in addition to pay per view shows for which they can pay $1.99 per show for a seven-day access period.

He said that ABS-CBN will continue to add shows to the menu. "The key to making ABS-CBNnow! is to improve the content," Tolentino stressed.

Just recently, ABS-CBNnow!, in partnership with BTI Global Communications Japan, launched a new type of prepaid card service in Japan. Dubbed as an "E-Wallet" prepaid card, it has features to make calls, text, and payments for ABS-CBNnow! and Pinoy Big Brother licenses. In most countries, subscribers can pay either through credit cards, G-cash, prepaid dealer pins, and money orders.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Smart’s mobile games are illegal gambling, says DoJ

By Tetch Torres INQ7.net

THE Department of Justice (DoJ) has ruled that mobile phone giant Smart Communications, Inc. should be slapped with illegal gambling charges for its text messaging-based promotional games.
In its nine-page resolution, Justice Undersecretary Ernesto Pineda said the text-based games of “Game Ka Na Ba?” (Are You Game?), “Text to Millions” and “ImGame's True or False” were forms of illegal gambling.

Pineda dismissed the arguments raised by Smart president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno that the mobile phone games are promotional activities and games of skills covered by a permit from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

"What appears to be the major controlling factor in selecting the winner…is not primarily based on the subscriber's skill or intelligence but on the element of chance that his electronically issued registration number will be the lucky combination to be generated by the computer during the raffle draw," Pineda said.

He added that the amount of two pesos or 2.50 pesos charged by Smart to mobile users joining “Text To Millions” and “ImGame”, and 10 pesos for those joining “Game Ka Na Ba?” was not meant to avail of a service or buy a product, but to place a bet.

The case stemmed from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation's (PAGCOR) appeal on the decision of the Manila Prosecutor's Office that dismissed the case against Smart.

Smart Communications officials declined to comment on the case until the company receives a copy of the resolution.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

LGUs meet to set curbs on cybersex

By Luige A. del Puerto Inquirer News Service

A PEDOPHILE checks into an Internet cafe, logs onto a website, and starts downloading nude photos of children.

Or from the privacy of his home, he logs onto a website--maintained somewhere in the Philippines--and begins to watch a streaming video of children performing lewd acts.

Under Philippine laws, not much can be done about the Internet cafe or the pedophile.

The police had raided several such establishments but efforts to prosecute their owners had largely failed. And the police are not wont to enter a person's home without a warrant.

But not for long--hopefully.

Representatives of local government units in Metro Manila and its outskirts and officials of the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) and the Office of the Special Envoy on Transnational Crimes (OSETC) met Tuesday in Camp Crame, Quezon City, to discuss a draft ordinance that, once enacted, would give LGUs the teeth to clamp down on cybersex dens and regulate the operation of Internet cafes.

"Child pornography in the Philippines is severe," Alberto Muyot of Unicef's Child Protection Section told the Inquirer. "We cannot wait for a republic act."

OSETC chief Florencio Fianza said the ordinance could "serve as the first line of defense against the sexual exploitation of Filipino children."

"This is a local response to a global problem, and we sought out the LGUs because they can address this faster," Fianza said.

He noted that many of those who establish cybersex dens in the Philippines come from western countries, taking advantage of the lack of laws against Internet pornography here.

"If it gets too hot for them here, they simply leave. Now if we could only enact this ordinance, if we could put them in jail for at least six months--and I tell you jail in the Philippines is no bed of roses--that would make them think twice about coming here," Fianza said.

Under the ordinance, the owner of an Internet cafe must maintain a centralized users' logbook, ensure that the Internet rooms are visible to the public, and refuse entry to children during school hours.

The draft says it shall be unlawful to "perform or exhibit in front of a digital camera, computer video camera, camera-equipped mobile phone, webcam" sexual intercourse and other lewd acts

NBI warns homeowners vs fake anti-piracy agents

By Evelyn Macairan The Philippine Star

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is going after bogus agents who have been using the intensified campaign against computer software piracy to extort money from individual users with pirated software programs.

Head Agent Jose Justo Yap, of the NBI-Intellectual Property Rights Division (IPRD), said yesterday they have been receiving complaints from homeowners who claimed NBI agents raided their homes and extorted money from them.

The complaints came after the NBI and Optical Media Board (OMB) launched an intensified crackdown on software piracy last Sept. 16 with the creation of the "Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team" composed by the NBI and OMB agents.

"Immediately after, we began receiving complaints," Yap said.

He said the fake agents might have taken advantage of the crackdown to dupe homeowners, who were threatened with confiscation of their computer units and the filing of charges unless they pay up.

Yap clarified that the drive focuses on companies, computer stores and Internet cafes. Individual users are spared from the crackdown and are in fact allowed to have back up files of programs in case their system bogs down.

In the first place, he pointed out, residential owners should not allow NBI agents or any representatives of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) into their home and remove their individual computers unless they can produce an identification card and a search warrant.

"Don’t let them into your home right away. Always ask for a warrant issued by a court. If there is no warrant then that means the operation is illegal. Only buybust operations are exempted from producing a warrant," Yap explained.

He advised victims of the scam to immediately report the incident to the authorities.

Yap admitted that the complaints are not limited to Metro Manila.

The NBI-IPRD chief said he even circulated a memorandum to their regional and district offices, particularly addressed to the regional directors and the agents-in-charge of the investigation, to be alert and monitor reports of similar scams.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

print w/ prescribed form and distribute b4 session

Proposed Amendment to Ordinance 14 series of 2001



To keep up with the times, to efficiently regulate computer related establishments, to effectively oversee minors and minimize if not eradicate truancy; The following provisions of Ordinance 14 series of 2001is amended as follows:


SECTION 2. Limitations


2.1 Shop-Keepers/Operators/Manager/Owner shall not allow minors (17 years old and below) during school hours to enter their facilities except in the following conditions:


2.1.1  When parents, legal guardian or school officials accompany the minor.

2.1.2  When the minor presents a valid permit duly authenticated by school principal or truant officers. * The permit (in the format prescribed herein and downloadable from www.subicbay.ph/intergapo) must be properly filled up using ball pen or other non-erasable writing instrument, presented, verified, and notes specifying time of entry clearly written on the permit for inspection purposes. Failure of the Shop-keepers, Operators, Manager/Owner to write the minor's time of entry will be ground for Imposition of Fines, Suspension, Cancellation and or Non-Renewal of License as the case maybe.  * College students who are below 18 yrs old shall simply present a valid (un-expired) student ID and permit signed by their parents or guardian.


2.2 Recommended maximum allowable playing time (per day) for minors

2.2.1  During School days:              two (2) hours

2.2.2  Weekends / Holidays:             four (4) hours

2.2.3  Students conducting research or writing reports/thesis must have such activity written in the permit in order to get exemption from recommended time limits.


2.3 Minors must be released by Shop-Keepers/Operators/Manager/Owner thirty (30) minutes before curfew hours, except if parents or legal guardian accompanies the minor


2.4 Operators/Managers/Owners must not allow gambling, access to pornographic websites, cybersex or other form of prostitution, consumption of intoxicating substances and other illegal activities in their establishment.


2.5 Provisions of Ordinance 46, series of 1995 and ordinance No.65, series of 2001 that prohibit the sale of liquors to minors and the sale/consumption of cigar and cigarettes shall be strictly enforced by owner or his representative within their business premises.



SECTION 15. Surveillance.


15.1 The city, upon receipt of information, complaints and /or report, may monitor the alleged illegal activities of the establishment (employment of minors, of foreigners without proper documentation, overcharging, operation of business activities not covered in the affidavit of undertaking, unaccompanied minors, fronts for showing lewd or pornographic flicks, etc.)


15.2 No monitoring may be conducted unless authorized by the Mayor or his/her duty authorized representative.


15.3  Officially designated inspectors from business permit office that fails to submit report after inspection and file appropriate charges to violators will be charged with dereliction of duty.


15.4  When entry of designated inspectors to Internet cafes is not accompanied by video/digital camera, the proceedings must be recorded and web-casted by web camera of the subject Internet Cafe for the Truant and Telecom Board officers to witness the on-going activity.


15.5  A section especially for minors shall be designated in each shop for effective monitoring of the same.


15.6  Under no circumstances shall customers of computer shops be allowed access to private office or secret space within the business establishment. Private rooms and cubicles will not be tolerated and will subject the business to immediate closure.


15.7  The Office of the City Mayor, DSWD, Business Permit, Truant and/or Telecom Board officers shall have access to view individual internet cafe's web cam immediately upon receiving report of suspicious or illegal activity.  Shop-Keepers/Operators/Manager/Owner who refuses access will subject the business to penalties stipulated in this ordinance. Applicable provisions of Ordinance 33 series of 2002 also known as Truancy Ordinance shall be strictly enforced.


SECTION 19. Penalties for Violation.


The City shall impose fines for violations of this Ordinance in accordance with the following schedules:


a) First offense                              PhP 5, 000.00

b) Second offense                             PhP 5, 000.00 plus one (1) week suspension

c) Third offense                              PhP 5, 000.00 plus one (1) month suspension

d) 4th offense                           Closure and Cancellation of Permit


SECTION 10. Compliance with the Affidavit of Undertaking


10.2 Sample of the Affidavit is hereto attached as an integral part of this Ordinance.


The affidavit of Undertaking shall be reviewed and updated to conform to the amendments introduced herein. 


Sunday, October 23, 2005

WiMAX in RP: Info you need to know

The news is out that Intel and Globe subsidiary Innove Communications are collaborating on the pilot deployment of WiMAX in the Philippines. This revolutionary wireless broadband technology, if it lives up to its hype, has the potential to alter the current IT landscape of the country.

Here is a rundown of things that Pinoy mobile warriors may want to know on the coming of WiMAX on local shores:

What is WiMAX?

WiMax is short for Wireless Interoperability for Microwave Access.

How different is it from WiFi?

WiFi technology was designed and optimized for Local Area Networks (LAN), whereas WiMAX was designed and optimized for Metropolitan Area Networks (MAN). This means that WiMAX has a much larger coverage than WiFi. However, both technologies will coexist as WiMAX complements WiFi by extending its reach and providing a "WiFi like" user experience on a larger geographical scale (www.wimaxforum.org).

How many WiMAX trials are being done?

Carriers and WiMAX proponents are conducting around 150 test runs around the world. The Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia to test WiMAX.

Where is the pilot deployment in RP?

The test and assemble plant of Intel Microelectronics Philippines in Trece Martirez, Cavite is the site of the trial deployment. Radio antennas (called customer premise equipment or CPE) that can transmit WiMAX signals as far as 10 kilometers will be installed in 100 houses of participating Intel employees.

How long is the trial period?

The trial deployment will run for about three months.

When is the commercial roll-out of WiMAX of RP?

The availability and pervasiveness of WiMAX-compliant equipment and communication tools will play a major role in determining the timetable for its commercial deployment. According to Intel, the main advocate of WiMAX technology, outdoor and indoor CPEs will be available between now and next year, costing between $350 and $400. The second-generation CPEs, which will be indoor self-installable modems similar to a cable or DSL modem and will be priced around $250, are expected to be available in early 2007. Eventually, CPEs will be integrated in laptops which should become available in 2007-08, while cellphones with CPEs inside should come out in 2008-09.

Who makes the CPEs?

Third-party manufacturers such as Alvarion make the CPEs with a WiMAX chipset provided by Intel. So far, Intel is the only company currently producing the WiMax chipsets. But since WiMAX is standards-based technology, other chipset providers can supply WiMAX chipsets to CPEs manufacturers.

What frequency band will WiMAX use in RP?

For the trial test, it will be on the 3.5GHz, but it will shift to 2.5Ghz when it is deployed commercially.

What will be the local pricing model for WiMAX?

Innove Communications head Gil Genio said they haven’t devised a pricing scheme yet for the WiMAX service but it is likely that they will adopt the WiFi model wherein establishments can charge a fee or offer it for free as a value-added service.

Will 3G phone technology compete with WiMAX?

Yes, in some instances. But since 3G is a broader technology, it is expected to fill the areas which WiMAX cannot cover.

How is the WiMAX technology being promoted?

A group called the WiMAX Forum, composed of operators and communications component and equipment companies, is tasked to promote and certify the compatibility and interoperability of broadband wireless access equipment

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