Things we need in order to have better telco and internet services in the Philippines
ARTICLE UPDATED ON 2017.08.10, ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 2017.04.16
Before going on with the rest of this article, let me ask you a question: “What do you think of the current internet as well as telecommunication services in our country?”
We do complain, maybe the telcos don’t hear – but do our complaints actually make sense at all? We’ll try to answer these questions here.
Recently, a magna carta for mobile subscribers was proposed on the Congress, and this is to set some regulations or standards of how the telecommunications as well as internet services should be offered here in the country. Having this might help us to expect more from our local service providers, but, if they aren’t willing to give better services at all, then that’s their problem, not ours.
We don’t want to boycott them too, because we have no choice but to use their services since they are the only available providers in the country – if there are others, there’s a big chance that they don’t have good or wide coverage at all. So, we’re left with inevitable, unfair options from our local telcos.
So, what the heck do you think we need in order to achieve something better? First, we must regulate the use of telecommunication services not only for the companies but as well as on the side of the customers. Currently, there’s no existing regulations or policies within the government that regulates the very end use of telco services (excluding the Cyber Crime Prevention Act).
One thing that I’ve been wishing for (and many law-abiding citizens too), is to have SIM Registrations enacted. This will prevent not only text, call and other forms of scams, but as well as to prevent other forms of crime that involves the use of telecommunication services. Like our neighboring countries such as South Korea and Japan, this policy will help us a lot in order to maintain regulations and fair use of every service, as well as on investigations of crimes where investigators can have access to the records of the sim. Privacy, however, should be dealt accordingly.
Also, having smaller data capacities and allocations won’t do any good – especially on a developing country like ours. We do think that our carriers can provide more, however, due to some greed or the fact that they don’t want their services to be abused, they don’t give that much. They don’t need to remove the data caps, just make it enough for people to enjoy. Think about the U.S. telcos that had 1TB data caps – that makes their customers’ don’t bother at all because they are more than enough for average users.
The solution: Give more data allocations that is enough for average users. Many services as well as business-related works now rely on the internet to do so, and that 1GB is very small, compared to other countries who offer the same. You can’t be more productive with 1GB + 300/700MB, or you can’t enjoy more entertainment with that 30/50GB per month, unlike what these telcos had promised.
Another thing is to expand their infrastructures as well as coverages. Improving their coverages for LTE, LTE-A and 5G should be their next goal. In order to connect more people, they need to cover more places. Their struggles regarding permits and other hindrances when it comes to expanding were addressed on the last Philippine Telecommunications Summit, and we also detailed it here.
The known solution is to deploy more cell sites in strategic areas, making every place connected and covered. It only helps not only with communication, but as well as on business and disaster-related matters. We would like to have more areas with LTE soon, because 2G is so old, and 3G might be dead by 2019 or 2020 with the expansion of 4G, LTE-A, Gigabit LTE and 5G. Moreover, the future of our networks should be taken care by the telcos seriously because new devices mostly comply with these standards as fast as lightning. How does it feel buying a device knowing that you can’t use some of its awesome features because that features aren’t available on the country?
Lastly, we should know that these services are made available to the public and should be used fairly. Abuse might be the primary reason why telcos gave limits – however, we don’t tolerate that as paying customers. If people do find the services good, they won’t resort on doing unfair acts such as hacking in order to get free internet access (VPNs, etc.).
So let’s have a little recap:
- Regulate the use of telecommunication services at all (have SIM registration, implement magna carta for mobile subscribers efficiently)
- Allot more data for customers – because removing the data cap might not be a good idea at all
- Expand infrastructures and coverage as well in order to cater more subscribers better
What do you think of this editorial? Share with us your thoughts on the comments.