Digitel asks NTC to mediate in interconnection talks

25 Jan 2006

Filipino mobile operator Digital Telecommunications (Digitel) has requested that the country’s telecoms regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), intervene its interconnection talks with the national fixed and mobile operator Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT). According to an NTC official, Digital claims PLDT is refusing to interconnect its customers to the latter’s P10 Unlimited Call Service that allows for calls over unlimited number of minutes among subscribers of PLDT and its cellular subsidiary Smart Communications. Another mobile operator, Globe Telecom, has already sought help from the NTC to force PLDT to open up the offering to rival telcos. Although the country’s telecoms laws are designed to ensure fair competition and interconnection, Digitel and Globe have had difficulty in securing interconnections rights with PLDT. It is unclear as to why the state-backed telco decided to exclude the rivals from the P10 service as PLDT officials refuse to be drawn on the matter.