Globe Wants Dito to Pay P622 Million in Interconnection Penalties

The telco wars continue to heat up.

This story has been updated with a new statement from Globe 

Globe Telecom has asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to compel Dito Telecommunity Corp. to pay for interconnection penalties amounting to P622 million.  

This comes a day after Dito filed a complaint against Globe and Smart Communications Inc. for allegedly violating the Philippine Competition Act (PCA). 

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According to a statement from Globe, the penalties sprung from fraudulent calls placed through Dito’s network to Globe, bypassing proper voice traffic channels. An average of 1,000 fraudulent calls, or those identified as international in origin but masked as local calls, are allegedly allowed to pass through Dito’s network to Globe users every day, which violates interconnection rules.

However, “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,” the Ayala-owned telco said.

Reports of fraudulent calls continue to illegally pass through Dito’s network even until now, it added.

Globe also sought the NTC’s assistance to authorize the temporary disconnection of interconnection trunk lines between its network and 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. 

“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,” Globe said in its statement. “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.

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“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 added.

On Monday, Dito sued the country’s two top telcos for supposedly abusing their dominant positions by imposing commercial concessions for interconnection, resulting in low connection for calls between Dito and Globe and Smart subscribers.

But Globe said that “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.”

In a statement in response to Globe’s petition to the NTC, Dito Chief Administrative Officer Adel Tamano said Globe has admitted that it is seeking commercial concessions for interconnection in filing for claims. 

“Firstly, Globe’s position that interconnection will be done only if Dito pays for these alleged penalties is an admission that they are making interconnection, which is mandated by law, subject to the acceptance of this alleged obligation,” Tamano said. “This falls squarely into Sec 15 (C) of the Philippine Competition Act,” he said. 

Tamano noted that the media statement of Globe on the alleged interconnection penalties — also known as international simple resale (ISR) calls — is a “disclosure of confidential business information that is a violation of the PCC’s rules of procedure.”

He also claimed that the ISR calls are not made by Dito. 

“Rather, these are fraudulent calls made by third parties, and DITO is equally a victim of such calls,” Tamano said. “Additionally, there are also ISR calls from Globe to Dito. It is not true that Dito has not taken steps to stop ISR calls to Globe. We have the data and the facts to show the steps undertaken by Dito to minimize these ISR calls.

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“Fourthly, giving due respect to the NTC, it is not a collection agency and if Globe has any monetary claims against Dito, Globe should go to the proper tribunal to enforce their claims,” he added. 

On Wednesday (August 10), Globe issued another statement in response to Tamano, insisting that Dito is continuing to violate its interconnect agreement by refusing to pay the P622 million it owes to Globe.

"More notably, DITO did not  deny the debt it owes Globe in its press statement issued on August 9," the statement said. "DITO’s debt increases about P2.5 million every day, with an average of 1,000 fraudulent calls detected daily. 

"DITO has persistently ignored calls for payment even though compensation is clearly stated in its interconnect agreement with Globe," Globe added.

 

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