Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Friday, June 30, 2006

Police raid computer stores in Bataan

By Erwin Oliva - INQ7.net

Police have raided two computer shops in Balanga, Bataan found violating intellectual property laws.

Members of Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Anti-Fraud and Commercial Crimes Division (CIDC-AFCCD) of the Philippine National Police led the raid on June 27, 2006.

A team of police pounced on Sky Jersey, an establishment located in MDC Bldg. at Capitol Drive in San Jose and Santol Paguia Computer World Plus in Santol Marketing Bldg. in Don Manuel Banzon Ave.

The computer shops were allegedly "hard-loading" or installing unlicensed Autodesk and Microsoft software programs, a report from CIDG chief Jesus Verzosa said.

The report, however, did not indicate if computer equipment and software were confiscated. There were also no details on any arrest made during the raid.

Verzosa said the police will be conducting more raids outside of Metro Manila.

The CIDG-AFCCD is part of the Pilipinas Anti-Piracy Team, a group that also includes members of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Optical Media Board (OMB).

This team is currently heading a government crackdown on computer shop owners and business establishment selling or using unlicensed software

NTC, NCRPO seize more cell phones

The Philippine Star

Government agents confiscated yesterday at least 30 undocumented cell phones during a raid on 35 stalls inside a mall in Pasig City.

Joint elements of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) swooped down on cell phone stalls at the second floor of the mall located on Ortigas Extension in Pasig City at about 10 a.m.

The raiders left with the seized units after a three-hour inspection, the sixth raid staged in Metro Manila since June 15.

NTC director for the National Capital Region (NCR) Delilah Deles said the series of raids on stalls suspected to be involved in buying and selling of stolen phones has resulted in a drop in snatching cases in Metro Manila.

"Actually, bumaba ang figure ng cell phone snatching," said Deles, adding their operation was a success because a big number of business owners are now applying for permits at her office.

Deles called on the public to buy units only at stalls with NTC permits to ensure the phones are neither stolen nor smuggled products.

NTC deputy commissioner Jaime Fortes and Senior Superintendent Raul Medina, of the NCRPO’s Regional Investigation and Detective Management (RIDM), led the 57-man team that raided the mall yesterday.

Medina assigned a policeman each to the 35 stalls to prevent owners from spiriting out evidence, while personnel from the NTC conducted an inventory of displayed products.

Fortes said the stall owners cooperated fully with NCRPO and NTC personnel.

He said the NTC plans to expand its operation against the buying and selling of stolen phones to the provinces.

The joint NCRPO-NTC team has raided cell phone stalls in Muntinlupa City, Taguig City, Marikina City and Manila.

Fortes said of the more than 200 undocumented cell phones confiscated in the raids, eight were returned to their owners after they presented proper documents to the NTC. — Non Alquitran

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Korea plans to leap into 4G

By Alexander Villafania - INQ7.net

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA -- Long after most Asian countries implement their 3G networks, South Korea would already be implementing 4G, a technology that virtually connects all network devices including mobile phones and can deliver up to 100 megabits of bandwidth in a wireless environment.

Using a cellular transmission standard called Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB), rich multimedia services and content, especially mobile TV, can be delivered through a mobile phone.

In addition, Korean technology company Samsung is already closely working with telecommunications providers SK Telecom to launch some time in the second half of this year what it calls WiBro or wireless plus broadband, which would be the first step toward 4G on a desktop computing level.

Although still largely on a test basis in six cities, WiBro is expected to complete Korea's telecommunications convergence efforts, along with HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access) which SK Telecom just recently launched.

4G will be based on packet-only switching to transmit data, unlike in a 3G environment wherein data has to go through circuit-switching and packet-switching. This gives 4G less data latency on a high-speed network throughput.

WiBro uses the mobile version of WiMAX (worldwide interoperability for microwave access) and has a maximum effective radial range of up to 5 kilometers with data throughput of up to 50 megabits per second.

Samsung Executive Vice President Woon Sub Kim told reporters during the SEK 2006 Exhibit in South Korea that the country's aim is to ensure seamless integration of basic voice telecommunications and data services in both the wireless and wired spaces.

He said among the applications that will push 4G would be mobile television, streaming music, wireless gaming, wireless financial services and mobile payment.

"We're also seeing a growing trend among 3G users who upload their photos and video online through their mobile phones. Thus, 4G would provide better options for user-generated content," Kim said.

Apart from South Korea, Japan would be the only other country that has long-term 4G deployment plans. Japan's telecommunications provider NTT DoCoMo plans to make its 4G network commercially available by 2010.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Call centers to earn $7.3B by year 2010

By Ronnel Domingo - Inquirer

ANNUAL foreign exchange earnings from Philippine call centers are expected to nearly triple within the next five years as the industry expands and becomes more efficient in the daytime use of its work stations, an industry leader said yesterday.

Rainerio Borja, a director of the Contact Center Association of the Philippines, said annual earnings of local call centers would grow to $7.3 billion by 2010, up nearly 300 percent from projected earnings of $2.6 billion this year.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day Call Center Conference and Expo 2006 being held at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City, Borja said the number of people employed by the industry would likewise increase 182 percent to 506,500 call center agents compared to only 179,000 this year.

The number of work stations or agents’ seats are expected to expand to 300,000 in 2010 from 112,000 at present, according to Borja, who is also the president of People Support, a call center firm.

Citing figures from the industry association and the government, Borja told the annual industry conference that call centers and their employees would pay P8.6 billion ($162 million) in income taxes this year with more money spent on downstream industries, such as office rentals and equipment supplies.

Next gold mine

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has singled out the call center industry as a key potential growth area as Western companies move more of their office functions abroad to take advantage of the huge pool of English-speaking workers in less developed countries, like the Philippines.

“Given these numbers, the value of this industry and its impact on the Philippine economy cannot be understated. We could just be scratching the surface of what could be the next Philippine gold mine,” Borja said.

Call centers basically provide services involving agents making calls to sell products of mostly foreign clients or receiving calls to assist those who had bought their client’s products.

Philippine call centers usually operate at night since their clients and their respective customers are located on the other side of the globe.

Inherent in this setup is the inefficiency of local call centers. “As contact centers grow in terms of the number of seats, the inefficiency of having these not used during day time will increase,” Borja said.

To make their operations more efficient, call centers have started doing non-voice work such as transcriptions, captioning, financial services, back office work and even medical transcription, he said.

Borja said call centers and business process outsourcing (BPO) firms would consolidate in the next few years as the two sectors mature.

Call centers and BPO firms are expanding not only in Metro Manila but also in the cities of Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Dumaguete.

English proficiency

In order to expand, however, the industry should address the problem of a dwindling number of skilled workers, especially those proficient in English, Borja said.

He said local call centers should also learn from the experience of India, whose industry has been hobbled by high employee turnovers and rising wage costs.

Xavier Martin, a director of Alcatel Enterprise Solutions, said in a separate briefing that call center services would increasingly focus on the actual needs of customers, train them to solve their own problems, and provide analyses based on databases built from the interactions of agents and customers over time.

Alcatel yesterday launched its Omnitouch Contact Center Premium Edition that, according to the firm, was easy to use and efficient “just like what the iPod does for music enthusiasts.” With a report from Agence France-Presse

Transco can provide Internet services, says solon

No need for new law if firm partners with telco

By Alexander Villafania INQ7

THE STATE-RUN National Transmission Corporation (Transco) will be able to provide Internet service to its customers nationwide without the need for a new law that will enable the electricity transmission firm to operate as an Internet service provider, a congressman has said.

To circumvent any laws that may prevent its distribution of Internet services, Transco can partner with a telecommunications company to provide either the last-mile connection or even the Internet-related consumer services, with Transco’s 21,000 circuit-kilometer transmission lines serving as backbone infrastructure, said Representative Simeon Kintanar.

“What I see here is that households will automatically have Internet access through their power lines, which is more cost effective than having a separate line installed to their homes,” Kintanar said.

Kintanar, who chairs the congressional information and communications technology committee, was earlier given a demonstration by Transco of its Internet-related services.

Transco, which is in the process or privatization, had previously announced that it had the capability to deliver broadband Internet through its electrical circuits, which are mostly high-density copper or fiber-optic cables.

it said, however, that legal impediments prevented the company from pursuing such plans.

Gov't aims to save P170M a year with VoIP--NEDA exec

By Erwin Oliva INQ7

THE GOVERNMENT aims to save 170 million pesos a year in communications expenses through the use of voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, an official of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has said.

Citing figures from the Commission on Audit (CoA), NEDA assistant director general Danny Pabellon said that government spent 649.8 million pesos in 2004 alone on communications. This figure includes expenses for landline telephones, mobile phones, Internet connectivity and other means of communication such as satellite, cable and telegraph and radar. In 2003, government spent a total of 558.3 million pesos for communications.

"Government is spending a lot on communications," Pabellon stressed during a conference on VoIP in Manila. This has prompted the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in 2005 to require all government agencies and departments to use VoIP to reduce spending by at least 30 percent.

VoIP technology routes phone calls through the the Internet rather through conventional telephone networks, often at much lower cost.

Pabellon said the 170 million pesos in annual savings can help build 500 additional classrooms, and hire around 17,000 new teachers.

Early this year, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo instructed the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) to help propagate the use of VoIP in government.

The CICT is currently drafting guidelines on the procurement and installation of VoIP equipment in government, Pabellon added.

The Department of Education incurred the biggest communications expenses on telephone from 2003 to 2004, at 69 million pesos and 78 million pesos respectively, the CoA report showed.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had the highest mobile phone expenses in 2003 at 13.09 million pesos. But this decreased to 11.39 million pesos in 2004.

Among the government agencies, the Department of Public Works and Highways recorded the highest increase in total communication expenses from 2003 to 2004, the CoA figures showed.

On the other end, the Department of Tourism had the biggest decrease in communications expenses, saving about five million pesos for the same period.

Internet expenditures also increased in government, with the Department of Trade Industry reporting the biggest expenditure from 2003 to 2004. In 2003, the agency spent 3.8 million pesos. In 2004, this increased to 6.9 million pesos.