Prepaid load expiries may be extended
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - January 23, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) plans to extend by two days the load validity period of prepaid cards after the agency rejected the proposed outright removal of expiration dates on prepaid loads.

NTC director Edgardo Cabarios told reporters that the commission is studying the possibility of extending the load validity period by two days from the current three to five days after the agency turned down the outright removal of expiration dates that would result in higher costs for telecom providers.

He reiterated that the removal of the load validity period of prepaid loads was not feasible since the telecom companies would incur higher carrying cost of operating and maintaining their respective networks.

The validity of load depends on the amount purchased by a subscriber.

A prepaid subscriber who purchases P10 and below needs to use the load within three days otherwise the load would expire.

On the other hand, loads worth P10 to P50 are valid for 15 days, while loads worth P50 to P100 are valid for 30 days, and 45 days for loads worth P100 to P150.

Prepaid loads worth P250 to P300 are valid for 75 days, while loads over P300 are valid for 120 days.

Major telecom providers in the country include PLDT’s Smart Communications Inc. and the Ayala-controlled Globe Telecom Inc.

Latest data show that PLDT Group’s cellular subscriber base reached 68.6 million as of end-September. Subscribers of wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. stood at 25.6 million, followed by Talk ’N Text with 26.5 million, and Sun Cellular with 16 million.

PLDT’s net income slipped six percent to P28.7 billion from January to September last year from P30.6 billion booked in the same period in 2011, while total revenues surged 13 percent to P128.56 billion from P114.05 billion.

On the other hand, Globe’s mobile subscribers rose 10 percent to 32.1 million as of end-September last year.

Its net income fell 19 percent to P6.808 billion from January to September last year from P7.994 billion in the same period in 2011 due to higher expenses brought about by its capital intensive $700-million network modernization and transformation program.

Its consolidated revenues increased six percent to P61.3 billion from P57.7 billion on the back of the strong performance of mobile, broadband, and fixed line data segments.

AYALA BILLION DAYS EDGARDO CABARIOS GLOBE TELECOM INC LOAD LOADS N TEXT NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION SMART COMMUNICATIONS INC SUN CELLULAR
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