Prepaid load gets extended

Finally, the National Telecommunication Commission or NTC has issued a memorandum circular that lets prepaid cellular phone subscribers enjoy their load longer.  In fact, a prepaid load of more than P300 is now good for four months.

Under Memorandum Circular No. 03-07-2009, mobile phone operators are required to extend the validity period of prepaid load of subscribers and allow subscribers to accumulate prepaid credits.  A P10 load of prepaid credit is now good for three days while a load amounting to more than P10 to P50 is valid for 15 days.  A load of over P50 to P100 is good for 30 days or a month.

A load of more than P100 to P150 should be good for 45 days; over P150 to P250 for 60 days or two months; over P250 to P30 for 75 days; and over P300 for 120 days or four months.

Before this, a P10 load was good only for a day and P300 for two months.

The NTC said that for each new load that is purchased, the amount of the unused loads that are still within the validity period shall be added to and accumulate to the next load of subscribers.

"The new minimum validity or expiry period shall be based on the sum of the new load plus the unused load," it said.

The NTC also made public MC 03-06-2009, containing service performance standards for the cellular mobile telephone service.

This required the telecom companies to maintain a grade of service of 4 percent or a maximum of 4 lost calls for every 100 call attempts.

The NTC also prescribed a drop call rate of 2 percent or a maximum of 2 dropped calls for every 100 calls.

Two other orders are set to be issued by the commission in the coming days, including a circular prohibiting push messages or text spam.

"Subscriptions or requests for contents and/or information shall be initiated by the subscribers," the draft circular read.  "Commercial and promotional advertisements, surveys and other broadcast messages shall be allowed only if prior consent from the subscribers is secured."

It also required mobile network operators to keep records of all requests for contents and/or information from the subscribers for the delivery of content for a period of at least two months.

Another circular requires the telecom companies to provide access to contents and/or information providers upon request and based on an access agreement.

"Access to the networks, systems and/or facilities of duly authorized providers by duly registered contents and/or information providers shall be mandatory," it said.

The NTC said this would encourage and facilitate the development of contents and information.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. vice president for public affairs Ramon Isberto said they are still in talks with the NTC regarding the draft circulars.

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