Given the decline in voice services usage due to the public’s preference to use cheaper over-the-top services such as Facebook Messenger and Viber, the National Telecommunication Commission (NTC), through its Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios, has urged telcos to offer cheaper voice rates.
In response, PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom are expected to aggressively offer cheaper voice rates this 2017. This move aims to drive traffic growth and stabilize voice revenues.
According to a report, telcos have committed to lower voice calls by as much as 40 percent following the lowering of interconnection charges by P1.50: to P2.50 per minute from P4 for mobile-to-mobile calls across operators and landline-to-mobile voice calls and P1.50 from P3 for mobile-to-landline voice calls effective Jan. 1, 2017.
Globe Telecom, for example, is planning to offer P1 per minute call to other networks under a bucket price offer.
Eric Alberto, PLDT chief revenue officer, said the company will be aggressive in offering all network calls promos this year as way of passing on the lower interconnection fees charged to subscribers.
“If you’ve seen the market in the last two years, voice calls are already part of the (service) buckets . We will be a little more aggressive in all net-bundles,” said Alberto said .
Bucket or bundles offerings comprised of call , text and mobile data services at the lower rates with short period of validity.
PLDT has three mobile brands in the market: Smart, Talk and Text and Sun Cellular while its rival has two, Globe and TM .
Prior to lowering the tariff on voice calls, the bucket and unlimited offerings were only limited within each network.
According to the NTC, the lower interconnection charge between the different networks is expected to cut down the current retail rate of P6.50 per minute for mobile-to-mobile calls and P7 per minute for mobile-to-landline calls.
Meanwhile, this development is part of the Rodrigo Duterte administration’s 2016 accomplishments in terms of telecommunications. Under the Duterte presidency, the 8888 citizen’s complaint center and hotline has been launched plus there’s a marked improvement in Internet speed based on surveys conducted by the United Nations PACS and ITU.