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Monday, July 27, 2009

Telcos can slash down cost of calls further


Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday welcomed an order issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) directing cellular phone companies to lower the pulse metering rate from 60 seconds to 6 seconds, but said this can be further slashed down to 3 seconds.

Escudero said the NTC order, barring any opposition from the telecommunication companies, will greatly aid millions of Filipino cellphone users in this time of economic crisis.

"At this point, every centavo counts. Savings from telephone calls will go a long way in coping with the current financial crisis that has affected the country," he said.

However, the senator said that telecommunications companies can opt to slash the price of calls further if they choose to do so.

 "The present technology might be able to accommodate a per 3 seconds charging. Even a per second charging is possible if these companies want to," Escudero said.

The pulse metering rate is how telecommunication companies measure the length of time calls that are charged. On the average, companies charge P8 per pulse, which consists of 60 seconds, also known as per-minute charging.

Escudero said he is currently studying measures seeking to impose a cap on profits of telecommunication companies in order for them to pour in more money in improving their services.

He said a similar legal framework is being implemented in Thailand.

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