Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where is the telco price war leading us? To ruin, of course.

I had a meeting this afternoon with a friend who operates a telephone company in my home province of Mindoro. He is complaining, because the recent PLDT response to the Sun 24/7 gimmick is killing traffic to our province.

The telco price war began when John Gokongwei's Sun cellular offered a service at a flat rate for all calls within the Sun network. Apparently, the pricing scheme worked as Sun was able to entice three million subscribers -- something which took Globe and Smart longer to achieve in the early years of the cellular phone in the Philippines.

PLDT responded with a month-long promo, which introduced a flat rate of PHP 10 per call within the PLDT network nationwide, and PLDT across the SMART and Talk n Text networks. Naturally, it may have stopped the turn-over of people from Smart and Talk n Text to Sun, but the other immediate effect is to congest the PLDT lines. According to my friend, PLDT landline calls to Naujan, Mindoro are having a hard time connecting, because the PLDT Batangas exchange, where Naujan's traffic passess through, is clogged up. As a result, Naujan's residents with landlines are isolated from the country, and even the world -- because international calls to Naujan, Mindoro also pass through Batangas. According to my friend, if this continues, he may have to close his small telephone company, and watch as his subscribers switch to Smart and Talk N' Text.

The main problem with this price war is that it is really going to generate a lot of useless chatter. People are going to call each other regardless if the call is necessary to relay important information or just loose talk. Worse, as usual, we can expect more loose talk to occupy phone bandwidth, which will make it hard for inportant information to pass through our phone lines. The telebabad's will take over. As a result, we are going to ruin the greatest thing which happened to Philippine communications since the invention of the telephone. What's the use of having a cellular phone if you can't connect because people are abusing it?

I used to think that Sun's John Gokongwei and PLDT's Manny Pangilinan were in a certain class of businessmen -- the types who will not think only of short term profits but also of long term benefits to their companies and their patrons, as well. But this telco price has proven me wrong. They all appear to be in the same league as this movie producer, back in those days when she produced those stupid movies with her so-called babies that made a lot of money for her movie company, but ruined an entire generation's value system.

I wonder what are we going to ruin next?

8 comments:

bayibhyap said...

The government should set up a high-powered commission to oversee the orderly development and progess of the telecommunications industry, in view of its obvious importance to the people and the commerce of the country. The commission should set rules to ensure fair competition, regulate the overall infrastructure of the industry and also to protect the interest of the consumers. For instance, a service provider must meet minimum standards in infrastructure adequacy before it is allowed to promote and recruit more subscribers. Alternatively, the commission may decide that a certain sevice provider's infrastructural adequacy is meant for a base of so many subscribers and once the numbers exceed this threshold, the service provider will be required to upgrade its infrastructure. This will, to some extent, ensure that there are sufficient lines to serve the subscribers. The commission looks into healthy practices that promote the growth of the industry in n orderly manner and the subscribers have an avenue to voice their grievances against the oft insensitive service providers in their quest for profits above all else.

razc said...
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razc said...
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marvin said...

Bayi,

He he you are actually talking about the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) founded for the purposes that you have written. Geez, you actually sounded like you were quoting from the NTC Charter. Sad to say, however, that the NTC behaves like it is the extension of the PLDT Legal Department.

Razc,

I don't mean to be impolite, but I don't appreciate unsolicitied advertisement on my blog using my comments link. So, off your comments go.

BTW, if the devil used the English language in the dialogue, do you think the English people would feel offended? I don't think so. So cool it. There are many more assaults against the Philippine language that need to be addressed.

bayibhyap said...

marvin,

sorry. the way you voiced your concerns, i thought there isn't a commission in place. but i guess you explained the situation clearly enough, that the commission operates like an extended legal department of the PLDT.

on a different note, i think if the devil used english, the british would not feel offended. they would probably be proud of being the chosen. :) cheers.

rookie attorney said...

I never really got the hype of the recent telco gimmicks. I dont have relatives in manila, my father leaves abroad, who am i gonna call on the phone anyway? until i tried PLDTs promo on its last day, out of curiousity, and yes, you are quite correct. I was hooked on the phone uselessly waisting precious man-hours for small chit chat. Gimmicks, gimmicks, gimmicks.

rookie attorney said...

I never really got the hype of the recent telco gimmicks. I dont have relatives in manila, my father leaves abroad, who am i gonna call on the phone anyway? until i tried PLDTs promo on its last day, out of curiousity, and yes, you are quite correct. I was hooked on the phone uselessly waisting precious man-hours for small chit chat. Gimmicks, gimmicks, gimmicks.

Anonymous said...

the telcos must upgrade their infrastructure to accomodate heavier traffic. Do not punish the subscriber. If the telco cannot afford to upgrade then he has to end whatever program he started that caused an increase in traffic.