No more SMS frequency for 3rd telco player

Miguel R. Camus, reporting for Inquirer;

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is seeking a third telco player that could match or offer better services than PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.

But even at this early stage, Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. of the DICT acknowledged that there were limitations on the services a new telco challenger could provide, including text messaging.

Rio said there were no more 2G frequencies, which support text messaging, for the government to award to a third player. These are all controlled by PLDT and Globe, the country’s two major telcos that provide fixed-line and mobile services to about 100 million Filipinos.

I doubt that Globe and PLDT/Smart will “share” their frequencies, if ever a 3rd telco player will setup shop in the Philippines, they can only offer voice and data. SMS is still a big part of a mobile user, most notably when the 3G and 4G signal is not available. Also, how can a user recharge or load his mobile service without using SMS? Will the 3rd telco offer postpaid plan only?

Can the Philippine Competition Commission step in the discussion?

DICT announces YouthHack MNL Startup Challenge 2018: High School Edition and it’s Official Jingle

YouthHack Manila together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) launches the YouthHack MNL Startup Challenge 2018: High School Edition and its official jingle (embedded above).

The Startup Challenge 2018 High School Edition is open to all public and private high school students: Grades 7-12. The competition will have 60 teams of 3-5 members. Interested groups can apply here.

Startup Challenge 2018 High School Edition with the theme of ‘Think Global, Act Local’ is a two-day event with the goal of bringing students into the exciting world of startups and technopreneurship.

It is co-organized by the Department of Information and Communications Technology and YouthHack Manila.

The event aims to empower students to become knowledgeable about the country’s current problems and to come up with innovative ways to solve them.

Students will get to hear from experienced entrepreneurs and investors, and go through workshops in ideation, prototyping, and pitching.

Once the talks and workshops are done, the participants will use their newfound knowledge and skills to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

Prepaid Load Expiry Extended to One Year

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT);

Good news for the holidays! The expiry date of unused prepaid credits of mobile users will be extended to one year from date of top-up.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology inked a Joint Memorandum Circular with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on December 20, Wednesday, amending the previous version of NTC’s Memorandum Circular No. 03-07-2009 Guidelines on Prepaid Loads.

As of December 2016, there were around 130 million mobile users in the country, and the government wishes to afford subscribers more time to use their prepaid mobile credits.

The JMC states that prepaid loads, regardless of amount, will have one-year validity, and this will take effect on January 5, 2018.

“We came up with a realistic solution… the one-year expiry date is very safe for consumers because that one year assures that they will be able to use the load,”[i] OIC Rio said.

Those prepaid credits purchased for promos and other services with specific period of use, as approved by NTC and DTI, are excluded from the coverage.

“With this circular, President Rodrigo Duterte hopes to give the public a gift this holiday season that everyone can truly benefit from in the coming years,”[ii] DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement.

The Joint Memorandum Circular was signed by DICT Officer-in-Charge Eliseo Rio, Jr., NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Great news to all Prepaid users!