SMS tax to be implemented; mobile market slows

11 Nov 2005

Mark Cojuangco, the government representative for the Pangasinan region of the Philippines, has proposed taxing SMS services to bankroll the government’s infrastructure program in the country. Cojuangco said that around 80% of the proposed levy would be used for the acquisitions, while the remaining 20% would be used for the construction of roads, bridges, flood control and drainage systems. An oversight committee made up by the Senate and the House of Representatives will supervise the implementation of the law.

Meanwhile mobile operators in the Philippines are finding it hard to sign up new customers following the withdrawal of an offer that gave users free air time for switching from rival cellcos. The operators said they stopped the scheme – named ‘SIM-swap’ because it did not boost revenues as much as they had initially hoped.