NTC publishes draft circulars on mobile content development and bandwidth usage

14 Jan 2009

The Philippines’ telecoms watchdog the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has published two new draft circulars aimed at stimulating the development of mobile content and applications in the country, and ensuring wider access to its limited-frequency spectrum. In its first draft circular, the NTC published guidelines on the provision of mobile content and other value added services (VAS), proposing that network and VAS providers replace the existing revenue-sharing agreement with a flat-rate access charge agreement. ‘The provision of contents, information, applications and electronic games to the consumers creates demand for telecommunication networks and services. The development of these should, therefore, be encouraged and facilitated,’ the NTC said in its statement. As it stands, the 70:30 revenue sharing set-up, in which the larger portion goes to the network operator, has drawn criticism from VAS developers which claim it is skewed too heavily in favour of host network operators. Under the proposed access-charge scheme, a fixed amount would be agreed by both the developer and the provider.

The second draft circular concerns the proposed reallocation of wireless in the local loop (WiLL) frequency bands to broadband wireless access. The NTC is looking to reallocate the 1710MHz-1720MHz/1805MHz-1815MHz bands to broadband wireless access (BWA) for fixed, nomadic and mobile networks in order to keep pace with the current development of wireless technology for high speed internet access. The change will mean that WiLL operators which hold a cellular mobile-telephone system (CMTS) licence can also utilise their WiLL frequencies for mobile services.