Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) and rival operator Globe Telecom are said to be close to signing a landmark bilateral IP peering agreement in the country. PLDT executive vice president Eric Alberto is widely quoted as saying the deal, which would help improve internet services in the Philippines, is close to being a reality. IP peering is the commercial arrangement whereby firms agree to exchange internet traffic between customers – akin to interconnection for voice call and SMS services. According to Alberto, the negotiations are ongoing with discussions focusing on resolving the commercial cost of IP peering. As he notes, if the traffic volumes between the two telcos are equal, then peering is effectively ‘at no cost’, but if one telco carries far more traffic, the other will have to pay fees based on an agreed rate.
The two heavyweights have been very active in terms of interconnection agreements of various types of late. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, only last month the pair activated their recently signed interconnection agreements in the provinces of Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya, allowing their customers to make fixed calls to one another’s network without incurring additional charges. The new agreement removes the former commercial contract that charged a long-distance rate when calling one another, regardless of the destination, and simply requires PLDT users to enter a seven-digit dial code to connect with Globe or vice versa. To date, PLDT and Globe have signed interconnection arrangements in the areas of: Metro Manila, Cavite, Iloilo City, Batangas, Cebu City, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Bohol, Leyte, Davao City, Pampanga, Bulacan, Zamboanga, Laguna, Quezon, La Union, Nueva Ecija, and Benguet, General Santos, South Cotabato, Tarlac, Davao del Norte, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Zambales, Ilocos Sur and Capiz.