Philippine Telecommunication companies (telcos) have recently agreed to implement in December 2009 a new billing system for mobile phone calls that would result in lower charges than the one-minute-per-pulse system currently in place.

The agency has already issued Memorandum Circular 05-07-2009 last July 23 setting the maximum billing for mobile phone services, whether prepaid or postpaid, at six seconds per pulse, or the time cycle on which call charges are based.

“You will not be charged for a full minute anymore, you are going to be charged based on the pulse of the nearest calls rounded off,” Mallillin told reporters in explaining the circular.

This is the third order issued by the NTC after the Senate began last June to look into the many complaints of consumers regarding unexplained dwindling prepaid phone loads and the receipt of unwanted, or spam, messages.  The NTC had previously issued two orders—one directing that phone loads last for three months ( new extended expiry on cellphone loads ) and the other barring spam messages ( no push messages ).

The implementation of the six-second-pulse rate is to begin in December because, according to Mallillin, telecom firms were given 120 days ( 4 months ) from the effectivity of the circular to change their software and hardware in order to comply with the new rate.

“A lot of their hardware and software had been built for the one-minute charging,” Mallillin said.

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