Smart Slams DITO For Allegedly Allowing Fraud Calls: The Full Response

Smart Slams DITO For Allegedly Allowing Fraud Calls: The Full Response

The local telecommunications field is currently on fire as newcomer hotshot DITO Telecommunity filed a complaint against local giants Globe and Smart just a couple of days ago. Well, now the two have returned fire. We’ll provide a concise breakdown of the entire situation to keep all of you in the loop.

DITO Telecommunity filed the complaint to the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC). According to industry sources, this contained statements by the company accusing Smart and Globe of practicing anticompetitive methods in order to maintain their foothold on the Philippine market. The affected service mostly contains interconnection deals between networks. They continue on to claim through DITO spokesperson Adel Tamano that out of 100 calls to either of these telcos, only 20-30 are able to interconnect. This apparently violates governmental policies that mandate high-quality interconnection between telcos.

Globe has asked for PHP 622M in reparation fees from DITO for its reported lack of security, and it appears that Smart is now taking the same approach. The reason is the same: both Globe and Smart have gone on to report that DITO has failed to clamp down on its subscribers who have abused the interconnection network to mask international calls as domestic. As we all know, domestic rates are merely a fraction of international call prices. These cases caught red-handed by Smart’s automated anti-fraud systems result in monumental monetary losses – not only for these companies but also for the Philippine government who lose out on tax revenues from international voice traffic.

Atty. Roy Ibay, acting as spokesperson of Smart, also adds that Smart and DITO have an existing interconnection agreement which the former has continued to honor. DITO is now asking for additional capacity in this agreement, but Ibay states that DITO must first tighten its security in order to repel these fraudulent transactions before they even consider expanding the current arrangement. Should they fix the issues at hand, then Smart is willing to grant DITO’s request for “capacity augmentation.”

“It is a disturbing development that while Smart continues to interconnect with DITO despite these outstanding issues and while we were still negotiating with DITO on a bypass agreement, DITO now attempts to avoid liability for these fraudulent international calls by filing a baseless complaint with the PCC accusing Smart of anti-competitive behavior. It should have instead acknowledged that PLDT, Smart’s parent company, was instrumental in helping DITO fulfill its commitments to the NTC and Congress as a third telco, considering that PLDT built for DITO a big portion of its telco infrastructure,” Atty. Ibay concludes.

As of now, it appears that Smart and Globe have a singular narrative against their latest competitor. Whether this is the truth or not remains to be confirmed, but we’ll be sure to report on any moves made by these three parties in the near future.








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