Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Saturday, July 08, 2006

NTC approves stringent guidelines on text-spams

THE National Telecommunications Commission has approved a more stringent set of guidelines on “spam” messages that imposes stiffer penalties on mobile-phone content providers that send them.

Spam messages are unsolicited or unwanted commercial and promotional advertisements and surveys (Short Messaging System /Multimedia Messaging System) sent more than once for the same promo.

NTC chief Ronald O. Solis said the regulator has approved Memorandum Circular No. 03-03-2005A containing the amended rules and regulations on broadcast messaging service. The circular imposes stiffer penalties and sanctions on telcos and content providers that break the rules.

Under the MC, telcos and content providers with more than 50 violations shall be fined P200 for every violation and will suffer cancellation of their provisional authority/certificate of public convenience (PTE) or their certificate of registrations (CPs).

Companies found with 20 to 50 violations shall be fined P200 for every violation, and their PTEs and CPs will be suspended. Telcos with violations of 20 or less will pay P200 for every violation.

“The Commission believes that these additional guidelines will serve as sufficient deterrent measures to minimize, if not totally eradicate, text-spam and be sufficient to protect consumer interests and promote their welfare,” Solis said.

He said the regulator has taken a position that puts the burden of proof that a text message is not a spam on the telcos and content providers.

The rules also prohibit the broadcast of messages between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., except for paid subscription services.

Subscribers/recipient of broadcast/push messages shall also not be charged for the unwanted message.
--Darwin G. Amojelar - Manila Times

Friday, July 07, 2006

Smart, Globe promo war turns ugly

By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes
The Philippine Star

The war between arch-rivals Smart Communications and Globe Telecom has turned uglier after the former asked government regulators to investigate Globe and its wireline subsidiary Innove Communications for alleged predatory pricing as well as unfair and anti-competitive behavior.

Smart specifically asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to enjoin Innove from further offering its Speak n’ Surf service, which allows subscribers to have both a wireless phone and unlimited broadband service for P995 a month.

Smart legal and regulatory department head Enrico Espanol said subscribers of Globelines Broadband are offered "free first 500 texts per month to other Speak n’ Surf phones and to Globe Handyphone and Touch Mobile."

"Obviously, such service is among the claimed prohibited services or promos being vehemently assailed by Globe because they ‘cross over’ the networks of two different companies. The Globelines Broadband service is offered by Innove while the mobile service is being offered by Globe. Such arrangement on a permanent basis is offered below cost and, therefore, violates the NTC policy against predatory pricing relied upon by Globe in its complaint against Smart and Piltel," Espanol emphasized in Smart’s complaint before the NTC.

Espanol noted that Globe has recently made an issue over promos or services that cross over two companies’ networks and argued that such promos or services are allegedly predatory and anti-competitive and have been declared illegal by the NTC.

It will be recalled that Globe opposed before the NTC the all-day texting 258 promo of Smart. This promo covers text messages sent from one Smart subscriber to another as well as messages from a Smart to a Piltel subscriber, Piltel to Piltel, and Piltel to Smart, which means that Smart and Piltel do not pay text access charges to each other, unlike those paid to other networks like Globe and Sun Cellular.

Globe said Smart and Piltel are still two different carriers with different congressional franchises and NTC authorizations and frequencies. Since the promotional scheme was introduced without giving all other mobile carriers the opportunity to at least agree to be a part of it, the promo smacks then of discrimination, as well as cutthroat competition, Globe stressed.

Since Smart has been treating Piltel as part of its network, Globe sought the revocation of the congressional franchise given to Piltel as well as all authorizations and frequencies granted to Piltel for non-operation or non-use.

Globe also noted that the authority given by the NTC in favor of Piltel and Smart is merely one approving Smart’s facilities management, administrative support and customer service management over Piltel. "It does not authorize the merger of Smart and Piltel and thus exempt them from paying access charges to each other," it stressed.

For his part, Espanol said that as already pointed out by Globe, the NTC has already prohibited discriminatory practices in inter-corporate, inter-carrier, and/or inter-network crossings in its June 14, 2005 order in the case of Innove vs. Smart.

NTC’s Memorandum Circular 14-7-2000 further provides that an access provider must "treat each seeking interconnection on a basis that is non-discriminatory and no less favorable as to terms, conditions, and rates that the treatment which the access provider affords to itself, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, or to any other public telecommunications entity (PTE) to which it is providing a materially equivalent service."

Smart’s legal counsel stressed that based on Globe’s own line of arguments, Globe and Innove are operating as a criminal combination in restraint of trade because in offering the Speak n’ Surf service to their subscribers, they are acting in concert to corner the market and thus create a virtual monopoly. "This service of Globe and Innove are in open defiance and mocks the circulars, rules, orders, and policies of the NTC which Globe sought to promote," Espanol added.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Globe‘s Innove further cuts IDD rates to US, 4 other countries

By Mary Ann Ll. Reyes
The Philippine Star

Globe Telecom subsidiary Innove Communications has further cut its international long distance (IDD) rates to allow its customers to enjoy longer calls abroad.

Globelines, Innove’s consumer brand, has brought down its IDD rate to P2.50 per minute — the lowest IDD rate in the country — when connecting to five countries using Globe1-Innove’s first prepaid call card service.

Globe1 can be used to call to the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia via a Globelines postpaid or prepaid line or Globelines payphone.

Globelines marketing head Jose Antonio Mapa Jr. said the company continues to find ways to make communication services more affordable to its customers. "Slashing the Globelines IDD rate to P2.50 from P4.50 per minute for these five popular calling destinations of Filipino consumers is just one way by which we show our subscribers that Globelines provides the latest services at the best possible rates."

Beginning June 20, 2006, when calling to the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia from any Globelines landline or payphone using the Globe1 prepaid card, customers get to enjoy the lowest Globelines IDD rate of only P2.50 per minute.

The P4.50 per minute Globelines IDD rate remains available for the following five destinations: China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Calls to other countries, meanwhile, are at 40 US cents per minute.

Globe1, which was launched last year, is Innove’s first PIN-based prepaid call card that gives consumers the convenience of making wireline and wireless domestic and international calls.

Globe1 allows users to make calls from any Globelines payphone and landline, whether postpaid or prepaid, Globe Handyphone and Touch Mobile to any landline and mobile carrier here and abroad.

Officials emphasized that Globe1 is easy to use. To make a call, users will simply dial 107-88 from any Globelines landline or payphone, Globe Handyphone and Touch Mobile and follow the recorded voice instructions. It is available at all Globelines Payments and services centers and Globelines prepaid card dealers in P100 and P300 denominations.

Monday, July 03, 2006

EDITORYAL — Bata sa Pinas pinagkakaperahan sa cybersex

Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon

NOONG 2002 pa nabalita na ang Pilipinas ang pangunahing distributor ng mga sexually explicit pictures ng mga batang babae at lalaki sa internet. At sa maniwala at sa hindi, hanggang ngayon nangunguna pa rin ang Pilipinas sa ganitong papel. Maraming bata na naghuhubad sa web cam, bumubukaka, naghuhubad ng panty at kung anu-anong pang mahahalay na posisyon. May nakikipagsex sa kapwa bata at meron din sa matanda. Ganito na katindi.

Maiimagine na 2002 pa lumobo ang child pornography at hanggang ngayon wala pang mabigat na batas na magpaparusa sa mga negosyante ng "laman" sa cyberspace.

Malala na ang child pornography sa bansa at hindi masawata ang mga gumagawa nito. Ang matindi pa, pati mga sariling ina ang nagbebenta sa kanilang mga babaing anak para bumukaka sa harap ng web cam. Sa kahayukang kumita ng pera, pati anak na walang malay ay ibinibenta na ang laman.

Kagaya ng isang ina na ibinenta sa kanyang dayuhang boyfriend ang mga posing ng hubad niyang anak na babae at mga pamangkin. Kinasuhan lamang ng "Anti-Trafficking of Person’s Act" ang ina.

Inaresto ng mga pulis noong nakaraang Mayo si Jedeka Martinez makaraang ipagharap ng "Anti-Trafficking of Person’s Act" o ng Republic Act 9208.

Ayon sa report, pinaghubad ni Martinez sa harap ng web camera ang kanyang anak na limang taong gulang habang pinanonood ng New Zealander niyang boyfriend. Iba’t ibang posing umano ang pinagawa sa bata. Pagkatapos ng kanyang anak, ang mga pamangkin naman niya na ang edad ay walo at 14 ang kanyang pinaghubad sa harap ng web cam at binayaran niya ng P200. Sa imbestigasyon ng pulisya, lumitaw na pinuwersa ni Martinez ang mga biktima para maghubad sa harap ng web cam.

Ang pangyayaring iyan ay isa lamang sa malalang child pornography na nagaganap sa bansa. May mga pidophiles pang malalakas ang loob na sila mismo ang nagtutungo rito sa bansa at kumukuha ng mga bata at kinukunan ng video.

Kawawa ang mga batang ginagamit na ang katawan para pagkaperahan. At kung hindi makagagawa ng mabigat na batas laban sa mga nag-ooperate ng cybersex na ang mga bata ang ginagamit, marami pang masisira ang buhay. Kakahiyang ang Pilipinas ay pugad ng mga "batang puta".

Erring cell phone traders face stiff penalties — NTC

By Non Alquitran - The Philippine Star

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) urged business establishments engaged in the sale, purchase and servicing of cell phones to secure necessary permits from the agency or face severe penalties and fines.

In a dialogue with cell phone dealers and operators of repair shops over the weekend, NTC Commissioner Ronald Solis cautioned retailers against sourcing their units from unauthorized dealers or suspected smugglers.

Solis also warned retailers of second-hand phones that could be charged with violation of the anti-fencing law if they sold units which are stolen or undocumented.

The NTC and the Philippine National Police (PNP) initiated the dialogue with business establishments engaged in the cell phone trading to establish guidelines for their operation and prevent retailers from being used as "dumping grounds" for stolen units.

"Business establishments engaged in the sale, purchase, retail and servicing of cell phones are advised to secure necessary permits and licenses from the NTC regional offices before they can legally engage in the cell phone trade and servicing," Solis said.

Failure to do so could result in confiscation of units and closure of the establishment on top of heavy fines.

Last month, the NTC and the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) conducted raids on stalls located in six Metro Manila malls, confiscating at least 180 undocumented cell phones.

Director Delilah Deles, of the NTC-National Capital Region, said the raids have resulted in a significant drop in the number of cell phone snatching incidents in Metro Manila.

During the dialogue held at the Multi-Purpose Hall of Camp Crame, Chief Superintendent Napoleon Cachuela, NCRPO deputy for operations, emphasized that "market denial" or refusal to buy used cell phones with suspicious origin or from questionable sources would help bring down cell phone snatching incidents further.

"When buying second hand units, mobile phone dealers should make sure they come from legitimate sources and seek proof of ownership while getting the identity of the seller and contact address of the same," Cachuela pointed out.

Solis called on mall owners to organize and assist cell phone shops in registering with the NTC.

The NTC chief also advised the public to purchase cell phones only from NTC-authorized retailers and resellers and to have their units repaired only at duly authorized service centers.

Solis said owners of units that have been lost or stolen should report to the NTC and have their units "blocked" to prevent their continued use.

In the two-hour dialogue, cell phone dealers agreed to abide by the NTC circular on the resale of pre-owned cell phones and to strict adhere to the rules and regulations pertaining to the anti-fencing law