Monday, June 17, 2024

Globe hits back at DITO, asks NTC to collect P622-M penalty for interconnect violations

A day after DITO Telecommunity filed a complaint at the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) for abuse of dominance against Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, the Ayala-owned telco has asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to require the Dennis Uy-owned operator to pay for interconnect penalties amounting to P622 million.

In a statement on Tuesday, Aug. 9, Globe claimed the penalties were brought about by fraudulent calls placed through DITO’s network to Globe, bypassing proper voice traffic channels.

An average of 1,000 fraudulent calls – identified as international in origin but masked as local calls – are allowed to pass through DITO’s network to Globe users every day, in violation of interconnect rules, according to Globe.

“The penalty covering one year, from July 2021 to July 2022, has ballooned with DITO’s adamant refusal to compensate Globe, defying provisions of its interconnect agreement on bypass traffic. In comparison, zero or no bypass traffic has been allowed to pass from Globe to DITO due to its advanced monitoring systems and sophisticated network protection from illegal calls,” Globe said.

To date, reports of fraudulent calls continue to illegally pass through DITO’s network, Globe added.

Globe asked the NTC to authorize its temporary disconnection of interconnection trunk lines with DITO until the latter has “taken positive and concrete steps to stop all illegal bypass operations emanating from its network” and paid all its outstanding liabilities to Globe for fraudulent calls.

Globe pointed out that fraudulent traffic continues to rise despite DITO’s assurance that it has improved its Fraud Management System capability to block illegal calls.

“Clearly, DITO has not only failed to compensate Globe, it also has not taken any serious actions to curtail bypass activities emanating from its network and terminating in Globe’s. Indeed, these bypass activities have not waned but have in fact continuously increased over the said period. DITO’s twin failures to check these bypass activities and pay Globe what it is justly due have worked on a continuing serious prejudice against Globe,” Globe said in its pleading.

“Moreover, these unabated illegal activities have placed the interconnection trunks at serious risk of abuse and the resultant undue congestion of the network, to the detriment of the subscribers,” it said.

Globe said it has been patiently working through the legal route to fix the matter and ensure that customers will continue to enjoy cross-network interconnectivity.

Globe claimed it has remained true to its interconnectivity deals with DITO, including domestic voice and SMS in November 2020, landline in March 2021, and the Cellular Mobile Telephone Systems International Gateway Facility (CMTS – IGF) in September 2021.

These agreements allow local voice and text traffic to pass between users of the two networks, and also international mobile calls through DITO’s and Globe’s international partners or via roaming service.

The parties completed local interconnection for Globe-DITO mobile voice and SMS in April 2021 and the Innove/Bayan-DITO local landline and mobile interconnection in May 2022. The Innove/Bayan–DITO IGF (international) interconnection is in the works and set for completion within the year.

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