Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

NTC blinks, gives telcos shorter period to store voice, text data

By Darwin G. Amojelar, Manila Times Reporter

THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) gave in to lobbying by telecom companies after the regulator cut down the required storage period for traffic data that may be used in complaints regarding subscriber harassment, prank calls, malicious text and stolen handsets.

In Memorandum Circular 04-06-2007, the regulator cut the storage period to two months for no-metered services with fixed monthly charges and to four months for other telco services. Earlier, the NTC was considering a six-month holding period for keeping traffic data on the origin, destinations, date, time and duration of communications.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Globe Telecommunications Inc., the country’s two largest telecom companies have opposed the longer period of keeping voice and text data because this carries a significant cost on their part.

The telcos instead proposed that the holding period for both postpaid and prepaid subscriptions should be kept to two months. At present, telcos determine how long they store text and call data.

The number of mobile-phone subscribers in the country stood at 45 million. Smart Communications Inc. and Pilipino Telephone Corp. have combined subscribers of 25.5 million, while Globe has 16.9 million, and Sun Cellular of JG Summit Holdings Inc. has about 3 million.

The circular said telcos shall retain records on both voice calls and nonvoice traffic such as short messaging system (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS) and other similar services carried over the Internet.

The data log retention policy also covers those offering value-added services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

The circular will allow the NTC and the complaining subscriber access to these records upon a formal written request and only in connection with a pending complaint.

“The records shall not be made available to any other person or party without a court order or a written consent from the subscriber,” the circular added.

The circular noted that the noncompliance with and violation of the rules will be dealt with appropriate administrative and penal sanctions as provided by law.

Separately, the NTC approved Memorandum Circular 05-05-2007, which will address widespread complaints and further promote consumer welfare and protection.

The circular covers all broadcast and public telecommunications entities including value-added service and content providers and cable operators.

“A subscriber shall have a right to be treated equally as other similarly situated consumers. Any data supplied by the consumer shall be confidential and shall not be used for purposes not authorized by him,” the circular said.

Also, upon subscription, users shall be informed of his right to privacy and the manner by which his data would be protected.

The NTC said complaints must be filed with the regulator in the form prescribed for the purpose.

Complaint forms are available at the One Stop Public Assistance Center (OSPAC) of the NTC Main Office and regional offices.

The circulars would take effect 15 days after the publication in a national newspaper.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Learning thru cyberspace

By: Jeffrey C. Tiangco
EDUCATION Secretary Jesli Lapus over the weekend promised to upgrade teaching quality by tapping the services of the best teachers in public schools who would conduct lessons through cyberspace.

While in Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon, Lapus said several television frequencies such as Channels Grade 1, Grade 3 and Fourth Year, which are not accessible through the ordinary TV set, could be accessed by public school pupils and students once the Department of Education launches its Cyber Education program later this year.

Lapus was invited by Network giant GMA, led by Network Executive Mel Tiangco of the Kapuso Foundation, to the turnover of two newly-repaired and constructed school buildings to the local government and local DepEd officials.
Lapus explained that cyber education would partially solve the present shortage in books and teachers. It can also be used in training teachers.

“Students will learn from the best teachers and teachers would also have new knowledge in doing their job,” he said, referring to the plan to tap the best public school teachers in a given subject.

The program, which was already approved by the National Economic Development Authority, will receive $100 million from the Chinese government as part of the Official Development Assistance (ODA), he said.

Lapus said that this early some critics are questioning the DepEd for investing so much in computers when it has not solved the acute shortage in books and teachers.

Lapus said he considers the program as a solution to the problem since it would answer the need for more books and teachers.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

First RP ‘root server’ now live, improves local Net traffic

By Erwin Oliva - INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines -- The first Philippine root server or “i-root” server run by various non-profit organizations went live just after the May 14 elections, the project coordinator and technical adviser of this project told INQUIRER.net.

Hoping to improve local Internet traffic in the Philippines, the Philippine "i-root" is now part of the Philippine Internet Open Exchange or PHOpenIX network which was launched in January 2007.

The i-root is currently operated by Autonomica from Stockholm, Sweden.

The PHOpenIX is a joint project managed by Advance Science Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology, the Philippine Network Operators Group, and the Asia Pacific Network Information Center, which awarded the hosting of the root server.

"The root server instance will provide faster response to domain resolution to all Internet service providers here in the country if they are connected to the exchange point," said Amante Alvaran who is currently managing the PHNOG and PHOpenIX project of PHNOG together with ASTI.

"Having the root server here in our country provides greater benefits to our local ISP's since redirection to the root server will now be localized instead of going out from the country, which also means faster response time since it is now local," he added.

Hoping to also a help the local Internet community to grow, Alvaran pointed out that the i-root server is now part the of the global Internet backbone infrastructure.

"This is an advantage to us since we are hosting an instance of the root which is considered part of the Internet backbone infrastructure. Initially there are only 13 root servers http://www.root-servers.org/ in the world, 1 from Japan 2 in Europe and 10 in US. Now, there are few more since they've cloned and [created] additional instances of root servers (namely F, I, J,K root servers) to properly redistribute the load and response time if a root server answer is required," Alvaran said.

He said that this is the first ever root server in our country, but stressed that it was not about "who was first."

"[It is] more of a question of who's more qualified or eligible to host the server since it places an important role to the Internet backbone. The main requirements are that it should be inside an Internet Exchange and the Internet exchange should be a run by neutral organizations. Which is why PHOpenIX is hosting it due to its nature of being a neutral a Internet exchange," he added.

Korea’s ‘PC bang’ comes to RP

By Alexander Villafania - INQUIRER.net
MANILA, Philippines -- A Korean businessman has put up the country’s first true “PC bang” a stylized Internet and online gaming café made popular in South Korea.

iHooked, built by Sabiclub Corporation, is located on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City fronting Ateneo de Manila University. It is also right in the middle of an area popular for its Internet gaming shops.

The new shop has over 60 high-end computers, a wireless Internet lounge and a sitting room for non-PC using customers who can order food and drinks at the bar. The entire place has been designed to look like a living room area of a house than an Internet café.

“The idea behind iHooked is to give comfort to everyone; video game players, their friends and family members and for anyone who just wants to rest for a while,” according to Sabiclub President and CEO Dong Hun Lee.

Dong Hun said the concept of iHooked came from his previous venture into the Internet café business called Station 168, which was primarily aimed at foreigners.

“I took the idea of Station 168 and made it into iHooked but this one is for a bigger market, composed of the general Filipino gamers and Internet café users. It’s supposed to be a comfortable place to be in for gamers, Internet surfers and students who want to study while waiting,” Dong Hun said.

He also added that they initially charge 36 pesos per hour for Internet access or gaming, though the pricing could be different depending on the location of the iHooked café branch.

“We’re planning to put up 20 more branches. The next one will be in De La Salle University in Taft Avenue, Manila. The other locations will be up for review,” Dong Hun said.

Likewise, Dong Hun said they would be conducting tournaments for the different online games that are available in the market. The competitions are expected to draw more crowds of players to their Internet café

CommunicAsia to host next-gen communications technologies

By Erwin Oliva - INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines -- CommunicAsia, the biggest telecommunications event in Asia scheduled to open this week, will showcase both the convergence of various technologies and experts representing different sectors in the high-tech industry.

According to organizers, key industry executives like Dr Tero Ojanperä, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Nokia, and Sukhinder Singh-Cassidy, vice president of Asia Pacific and Latin America Operations of Google, are expected to attending event to discuss the impact of digital convergence in businesses, society and individuals.

This year, CommunicAsia will also delve on mobile applications, such as IPTV and mobile TV for faster and new-generation mobile networks, organizers said.

Planned are six conference tracks focusing on mobile, broadband, next-generation networks, convergence, satellite, and wireless broadband, such as the emerging wireless standards Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) and the high-speed data packet access (HSDPA) and their newer evolving version.

Also a trade show, CommunicAsia is expected to bring together 2,400 companies including Chunghwa Telecom, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, Infosys, Nokia Siemens Networks, LG Electronics, Samsung, Tandberg Television, ST Electronics, Infosys and Aspect Software.

Ericsson is scheduled to demonstrate its mobile and interactive TV and new developments in HSPA (high speed packet access) technology, while Huawei Technologies will launch new products that include a HSDPA handset that can act as a USB HSDPA high-speed modem for notebooks and PCs.

Nokia Siemens Networks, which is a year-old joint venture, will talk about its strategy and plans.

CommunicAsia will be held at the Singapore Expo from June 19 to 22, 2007.

It will be spread over a total of eight halls of Singapore Expo. It will be held alongside EnterpriseIT, BroadcastAsia, and CG Overdrive (or Computer Graphics Overdrive), an event dedicated to animation.

Interactive digital media and entertainment will also be showcased in CommunicAsia.

Organizers said that the estimated size of the global media and entertainment industry in 2009 is expected to hit US$1.78 trillion, while the Asia-Pacific market is predicted to reach US$431 billion in the same period.

Converged applications such as mobile entertainment, IPTV, connected digital home devices, as well as mobile gaming, will be showcased and discussed in this year's event.

Participating countries in this year's CommunicAsia include Germany, Sweden and UK, South Korea, China, Taiwan and the United States.

"CommunicAsia has become the preferred ICT show in the Asia-Pacific region for technology professionals; for close to two decades, we have assumed the leadership position in featuring new technologies and applications that will fundamentally change the way we do things," said Victor Wong, Project Director of CommunicAsia for organizers Singapore Exhibition Services, in a statement.

"This year, it is no exception. CommunicAsia2007 will showcase promising technologies that will bring the Digital Convergence dream to life. We are confident that the show will deliver great value-add to our exhibitors and visitors," he said.