Getting Charged Per Pulse On Cellphone Calls

calling_on_cellphoneThe not-so-long wait on per-pulse charging of  prepaid cellphone calls has passed and now it’s for real. Very recently, the news landed on practically all media outlets. I read about it in both online and print news media and saw it on television but I am sad to say that the figures I read and heard  vary from one news release to the other. We all know how important this  news is especially in this time of economic crisis so it is just proper that we get clarified on the matter.

I had a blog analyzing telcos’ per pulse call charge proposals where some figures I arrived at were surprisingly higher than what they are already charging on per-minute basis. Happily, I say that it did not happen the telco way. The National Telecommunications Commission after studying the proposals of the cellular phone companies came out with the same old rates as in per-minute charging but with savings when you make calls because the charge will not be rounded-off as in the old system. The cellphone calls will now be metered and charged per pulse (1 pulse = 6 seconds) or one (1) minute will now be divided into ten (10) cycles as basis for the cost of the call.

Let me now give the cost of making cellphone calls according to my understanding of the different figures in the news. We need to differentiate the calls of a prepaid subscriber into two (2) kinds; calls within the same network (Smart to Smart, Globe to Globe, etc.) and calls to other networks (Smart to Globe, Globe to Smart, etc.) and the call charges will be as follows:

A) Calls Within The Same Network (Base Rate = PhP6.50/min.) Effective December 6, 2009 – The first minute will incur the PhP3.00 call set-up fee for the first tw0 (2) pulses and PhP0.44 per pulse on the next eight (8) pulses [PhP0.44 = (PhP6.50 – 3.00)/8]. The succeeding pulses after the first minute will be charged at PhP0.65 each [PhP6.50/10 pulses per minute].

Based on the interpretation of the above rule, a half-minute or thirty-second call will  only cost a prepaid cellphone subscriber PhP4.32 [PhP3.00 + (PhP0.44 x 3)] instead of the straight PhP6.50 in the old system or a saving of PhP2.18 under the new rule. Using the same new rule, a 1 minute, 6 seconds call to the same network will cost PhP7.15 [PhP6.50 (for the first minute) + PhP0.65 for 1 pulse after the first minute]. There will be a saving of PhP5.85 under this new rule because it costs PhP13.00 in the old method.

B) Calls To Other Networks (Base Rate = PhP7.50/min.) Effective December 16, 2009 – Using the new rule and the different base rate for this kind of call by a prepaid cellphone subscriber, a thirty-second call will cost PhP4.68 [PhP3.00 for the call set-up + (PhP0.56 x 3 pulses)] versus PhP7.50 in the old scheme or a saving of PhP2.82 for the call. Likewise, a 1 minute and 6 seconds call to other networks will cost PhP8.25 [PhP7.50 for the first minute + (PhP0.75 x 1 pulse)] or a saving of PhP6.75 if the new cost of the call is deducted from the PhP15.00 under the old system.

You could easily see the advantage of the new per pulse charging versus the old per-minute charging in the above sample computations. Kindly note that the new rule applies mainly to prepaid subscribers only. The telcos have different call rates, usually lower, for their post-paid subscribers. The new rule is also the result of the Senate investigation on the vanishing prepaid  cellphone load issue experienced by its President Juan Ponce Enrile.

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