PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc., two of the biggest telecommunications in the Philippines just recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) last November 28, 2016 to cut interconnection charges to ₱ 2.50 per minute starting January 1, 2017.

The present cost of mobile-to-mobile calls across operators and landline-to-mobile- voice calls cost ₱4.00 and for mobile-to-landline voice calls reach ₱3.00 per minute. The agreement follows the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)’s issuance of memorandum circular 9-11 series of 2016 on interconnection charge for voice services.

The NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba mentioned that they made a study about the average interconnection rates of other countries, which is between ₱2.25-2.50 and it is 40% higher with the Philippines current interconnection rate.

According to NTC, cutting the rates will benefit those who are still non-smartphone users and for the lower income sector starting next year.

Commissioner Cordoba also mentioned that 50% of the consumers still depend on conventional calls specially those people who are based in the provinces.

The reduced rates would depend on the various plans and bundles offered by the companies. But this doesn’t mean the quality of connection for voice calls will be altered. As said by the PLDT chief revenue officer Eric Alberto, both operators are still committed to maintain the quality of connection they offer.