Philippines mulls sanctions against telcos with poor service

Regulators are studying the possibility of barring telcos from signing up new subscribers, following worsening quality of service standards stemming from unlimited plans.

The National Telecommunications Commission of the Philippines is considering imposing sanctions on telco companies providing lousy service, by banning them from taking on new subscribers.

During a budget hearing at the senate, the industry regulator revealed it was studying the possibility in response to a query over what it was doing to to address the poor service consumers were receiving, according to a report Tuesday by GMA.

The rationale behind this approach is that with a fixed–-or non-increasing-–base of subscribers, the service can no longer go from bad to worse, said NTC chief Gamaliel Cordoba in the article.

He traced the root of the problem to how incumbent telcos Globe Telecom and Smart Communications had started offering unlimited services to compete with then newcomer Sun Cellular of Digital Telecommunications (Digitel).

Cordoba noted in the report that when
Sun Cellular entered the market around a decade ago, its equipment was new and more efficient. "It was prepared [to offer] unlimited [services], but the networks of Smart and Globe were not ready for that," he said.

Networks are set to be strained further with the increasing adoption of smartphones, where the Philippines
recorded the fastest pace of growth in Southeast Asia at 326 percent over the past 12 months.

Last month, India regulators also proposed tighter rules over telcos for poor service, with steeper fines.

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