After the NTC issued a letter to Globe asking them to explain the multiple complaints brought about by the recent strict enforcement of their Fair Use Policy, we now have official statements from both telcos about the issue.
Globe: We’ll Work Closely with NTC on Fair Use Policy Implementation
Globe underwent a massive network modernization program two years ago in order to increase capacity and improve network performance. “We now have the most improved network in the country designed for the modern digital lifestyle of Filipinos,“ says Atty. Froilan Castelo, General Legal Counsel of Globe Telecom. “We recognize that our customers have varying needs of data usage. Consumer demand for data is steadily growing brought about by changing lifestyles and the influx of smartphones. It is only safe to assume that a consumer’s data use will increase as they start enjoying the various platforms on digital and social media. This is the reason why we invested millions of dollars to modernize our network, built international submarine cable systems, and created customizable product offers to give our customers a superior data experience,” adds Castelo.
Globe first implemented its fair use policy in 2010 covering prepaid calls, texts and data promos. The company enforced the policy for postpaid data plans only last month. Even in the past until today, fair use only affects a small number of subscribers. This is necessary to protect the network against abuse, examples of which come in the form of unli promos meant for consumers but are used for business, text spamming using prepaid unli promos.
Globe enforced the policy for postpaid data plans to protect the data experience of the majority of subscribers who regularly use the network for work or leisure. “The fair use policy is an industry issue that is being implemented by all telco players in the country, even globally in the most advanced economies,” clarifies Castelo.
Amid burgeoning consumer use of smartphones and other mobile data devices, network data traffic reports showed a surge of over 300% during peak hours over the last 2 years. Data usage reached 47 gigabits per second (Gbps) in 2013 from only 12 Gbps in 2011. Data user reports also indicate that heavy users only account for less than 3% of total data subscribers, yet consume a disproportionate amount of network capacity. This has led to a degradation of network performance during peak periods of the day and clearly affecting the majority of subscribers who use data prudently.
“We want our customers to understand that the ultimate goal of the policy is to protect them because we want the regular data users who use the internet for work or leisure to have a consistently great data experience. Heavy users will affect their experience and this is what we are guarding against,” adds Castelo.
Compared to global leading carriers in the US (2GB/month), United Kingdom (500MB/daily), Thailand (2GB/month) or even locally, the 3GB per month is a sizeable amount of data which allows subscribers to do the following daily: 60 minutes of video streaming, download 4 songs, make 10 Instagram posts, send FB posts, tweets or emails, and browse your favorite webpages. On the other hand, 1GB of data will allow a subscriber to do: 60 tweets and 474 emails and 20 mins of youtube and 60 FB posts and 28 Instagram posts and browse 20 webpages, more than the adequate amount of data to use daily. Illegal torrents and pirating of videos is a practice that will be curbed by the policy. -Yoly C. Crisanto, Head, Corporate Communications, Globe Telecom, Inc.
Smart: Not a Source of Concern Because We Upgraded our Network
With respect to our FUP, this has not been a source of concern because we upgraded our network in 2011-2012 and have more than sufficient capacity to handle our mobile data traffic. Today, we continue to expand our network data capacity to stay ahead of demand. We are also carefully studying current data traffic patterns and customer data usage in our network so that we can maintain a fair usage policy that best serves our customer’s needs. -Mr.Ramon Isberto, Head, Public Affairs, Smart Communications