Saturday, February 19, 2011

NTC circular orders telcos to notify mobile users on Net charges

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has approved on Friday a memorandum circular ordering telcos and vendors of smartphones to inform buyers and subscribers of access charges when they use the Internet through their phones.

NTC chair Gamaliel Cordoba
The circular, signed by NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and new deputy commissioners Carlo Jose Martinez and Delilah Deles, mandates retailers to disclose the Internet settings of the phone and disable it if requested by the buyer.

For the mobile operators, the order also imposes the obligation to notify a subscriber, through a text message, of the access charge when he or she is attempting to access the Internet.

Moreover, the circular ordered that the reminders should be sent when a subscriber or user has consumed at least 50 percent of his or her credit limit.

It was also provided that mobile carriers should provide Internet access only to those who opted to avail of the service.

The order also compels telcos to send text messages to subscribers who have availed of roaming services to access their website for information applicable service rates and roaming charges.

“The information shall be sent right after the subscribers/users are acknowledged by the roaming partner,” the order stated.

The circular also orders mobile operators to “conduct information drive on the capabilities of the smartphones and the responsibilities of their respective subscribers/users on the use of such smartphones.”

Vendors and telcos are liable for administrative charges for any violation of the circular’s provisions.

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