Friday, June 21, 2024

Globe pounces on DITO anew, says debt over fraudulent calls piling up daily

The word war between DITO Telecommunity and its top rivals Globe Telecom and Smart Communications continued on its fourth day as the Ayala-owned telco asserted on Wednesday, Aug. 10, that DITO continues to violate its interconnect agreement due to its refusal to pay the P622 million it owes Globe over fraudulent calls through its network.

Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo

Globe noted that DITO did not deny the debt it owes Globe in its press statement issued on August 9.

DITO’s debt increases about P2.5 million every day, with an average of 1,000 fraudulent calls detected daily, according to Globe. DITO has persistently ignored calls for payment even though compensation is clearly stated in its interconnect agreement with Globe, it added.

Globe said it has already requested the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to temporarily disconnect the interconnection trunk lines between Globe and DITO over persistent fraudulent calls that pass through DITO’s network into Globe.

Globe initiated the request in July 22, 2022 through a pleading before the NTC, seeking to prevent DITO’s further breach of its interconnect agreement, as ISR (international simple resale) or bypass traffic – international calls masked as local calls – continue to pass through DITO’s network into Globe lines.

Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo said: “These illegal calls clog the network to the detriment of our customers. We need to take utmost caution as ISR calls also carry the risk of exposing our customers to vishing or voice call scams.”

Castelo added, “This is a clear violation of Article 10.1 of our interconnection agreement with DITO, which defines bypass as ‘activity, whether undertaken unilaterally by a Party, or jointly by a Party and its subscriber, or a third Party, that deprives a Party its due compensation for traffic terminated or routed to its network.’”

Under the interconnect agreement, DITO is accountable for bypass traffic committed by a third party using its network. Globe, being the aggrieved party, is entitled to bypass compensation as stipulated in the agreement, the Ayala-owned operator said.

“Contrary to DITO’s claim that we are citing its debt as a ‘ruse’ to hamper interconnectivity, we assert that its continued violations of our interconnect agreement cannot and shall not be left unchecked as it congests the network, affecting our customers. Their ongoing violation and unpaid debt are a fact, not a ruse,” asserted Castelo.

Globe said it had exhausted all options to collect penalties from DITO before escalating the matter to the NTC last November 2021.

“We were constrained to do so as DITO, in ignoring requests to pay its debt arising from our interconnection contract, persistently refuses to honor the terms of our agreement,” it said.

On the allegation that these illegal calls also emanate from Globe to DITO, Castelo clarified that, “Those reported to us were found to be not fraudulent and non-ISR.”

“The interconnection is existing and it is working,” said Castelo.

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