Implementing Per Pulse Charging On Cellphone Calls
Earlier news releases said that the per pulse charging on cellphone calls within the same network begun last December 6, 2009 and the calls to other networks will start ten (10) days later or on December 16, 2009. I had blogged about this and even presented some sample calculations in my article previous to this one. However, news reports in the past two or three days showed some confusions or deliberate attempts by cellular phone companies to circumvent NTC Memorandum Circular No. 05-07-2009 ordering them to to shift to the new per six-second pulse billing system. The circular was one of the results of the Senate investigation on vanishing prepaid cellphone loads and is aimed at billing subscribers based on shorter pulses for mobile phone calls to reflect the real costs of a call.
Here is how the cellular phone companies try to evade the true intentions of the NTC circular on per pulse charging as reported in both print and online news:
A) Smart Communications Inc. – The subscribers of the country’s leading cellular phone service provider will have to dial “899” + 9xx-xxxxxxx instead of the standard “0” + 9xx-xxxxxxx when making voice calls to other subscribers of the Smart network if the want to get charged per pulse instead of the old per-minute scheme. This was in contrast to earlier statements made by NTC officials—and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, proponent of the pulse billing system—that the new scheme was to be the default system for charging calls.
B) Globe Telecommunications Inc. – The country’s second largest provider of cellular phone service requires their subscribers to affix “232” instead of “0” when making a call to another cellphone in their network in order to be charged with ten centavos (PhP0.10/sec.) per second from Mondays to Saturdays and only five (PhP0.05) centavos on Sundays. Globe waived the flag-down charge of three (PhP3.00) on the first twelve (12) seconds of the call and their per-second charges are lower than the mandated per-pulse charges.
C) Sun Cellular (Digitel Mobile Philippines, Inc.) – The company has kept mum over the NTC order and just continue with some of its bucket pricing for its voice calls. While its many versions of unlimited call promos are lower than the mandated per pulse charges, their non-action on the order can be deemed as non-compliance to the NTC order.
What is wrong with the above-reported actions or inaction of the cellular phone companies? First, the use of number prefixes other than “0” can cause subscribers to commit the mistake when making voice calls and get charged with the old per-minute scheme. On this issue, Smart Communications said the method is compliant to the NTC circular because giving subscribers the option of being billed per pulse or the prevailing per minute of a call was all that the government had ordered. Smart added that the NTC order being a quasi-judicial action, there was a mandatory 15-day review period from the date of issuance before companies are bound by law to comply and the review ends on Dec. 21 yet.
This is one matter worth watching by all of us being subscribers to cellular phone service. we have to watch and see how a government regulatory body like NTC would impose their rule against these corporate giants called cellular phone companies.
On Globe’s 10 centavo per second call, it was actually an old promo that they kept.. so that is a total non-compliance on their part. Of the three, only smart is actually (partially) implementing the memo. As I’ve said, Globe’s 232 prefix is an old promo (I believe it was even Michael V who was on the commercial). Here’s Yugatech’s blog on that: http://www.pinoytechblog.com/archives/globe-to-globe-at-p-010-per-second
Here is smart’s per pulse charging instructions:
“Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) has implemented the per-pulse billing system for mobile voice calls effective December 6, 2009.
The new billing uses a six-second pulse charging system applicable to domestic SMART-to-SMART or on-net calls.It will apply to postpaid (Smart Gold and Infinity) and prepaid services (Smart Buddy and Talk ‘N Text).
A flag-down rate of P3 will be charged on the first two pulses (or 12 seconds) and P0.31 (for Talk ‘N Text) and P0.43 (for Smart Buddy, Smart Gold, and Infinity) on the succeeding pulses of the first minute. For succeeding minutes, P0.55 (for Talk ’N Text) and P0.65 (for Smart Buddy, Smart Gold, and Infinity) per pulse will be charged.
To call per-pulse, the following prefixes must be used, plus the number being called:
Smart Gold and Infinity: *5433
Smart Buddy: *5434
Talk ‘N Text: *2255
Subscribers can also opt to be billed per minute, P5.50 for Talk ‘N Text and P6.50 for Smart Buddy, Smart Gold, and Infinity, or to subscribe to unlimited or bucket-price service offerings.
Call types supported by the per-pulse billing scheme are call features such as call forwarding and teleconferencing. At present, rates apply to calls made within the SMART and Talk ‘N Text network only.”
Yup, 232 is their way to follow the memo..
Can’t find any info.
And with regard’s to the issue that the per pulse charging should be default.. on the memo, it states that:
“3. Subscribers may opt to be billed on a one (1) minute per pulse basis or to subscribe to unlimited service offerings or any service offerings if they actively and knowingly enroll in the scheme. ”
This means that the memo doesn’t require telcos to make this as default, but subscribers “may opt to be” (subscriber has to do the choice).
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