Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) together with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) recently (20 December 2017) signed a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) to amend NTC’s Memorandum Circular No. 03-07-2009 or the Guidelines on Prepaid Loads.
The amended guidelines now extend the expiration date of all prepaid loads of ICT providers and public telecommunications entities to one year from the date of top-up. Such move affords subscribers more time to use their prepaid loads. Exclusion to this coverage will only be limited to those prepaid loads purchased for promotions and other services with a specific period of use, as approved by DTI and NTC.
Official Statement from Globe
Globe Telecom will comply with the NTC-DICT-DTI Joint Memorandum Circular No. 05-12-2017 prescribing a one (1) year expiration period for prepaid load. Effective January 5, 2018, all Globe prepaid load with denomination of 300 pesos and above will carry a one (1) year expiration period.
We welcome the latest directive of the DICT granting a six months extension on the implementation of the 1-year load expiration for denominations below 300 pesos.
Telecommunications as a business requires complex, advanced and real-time systems that should be extensively tested, bearing in mind the impact to our 57 million prepaid customers, including transactions and voice, SMS, and data traffic that these systems support. The 6-months extension will give us ample time to prepare for the smooth and seamless implementation of the expiration change across all denominations.
Among the changes that we will address are the following:
1. Expansion of Capacity. Extension of the load expiry will require additional capacity and additional cost. While we have built adequate capacity for 2018, we will need to build more capacity and purchase additional licenses to accommodate the change. This will include purchase of licenses and software programming by third party vendors.
2. System Tests. We will conduct optimization and interoperability tests to minimize any adverse impact to customers when we implement changes and expand the capacity of several information technology systems.
3. Additional Number Series. To fully implement the change, we will need additional number series from the NTC. Otherwise, we will run out of numbers as a direct result of the longer load expiration period. Moreover, we need to define and fully test the new number series before making them available for our new customers.
Furthermore, there may be new conditions applied to prepaid services within the next six months to ensure a sustainable quality of service. -Atty. Froilan Castelo, General Counsel
Official Statement from Smart Communications
Smart, TNT and Sun shall comply with the Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 05-12-2017 issued jointly by the NTC, DICT, and DTI, extending the validity of prepaid load to one year.
In particular, Smart, TNT and Sun prepaid loads worth P300 and above shall moving forward have a one-year validity, regardless of the validity period printed on the physical cards already out in the market.
We are grateful to the three agencies for the grant of a six-month extension period before the full implementation of the MC. This provides us more time to implement the extensive reconfiguration of our IT and other support systems, and to conduct the needed tests, in order to ensure trouble-free implementation of the new expiry period. – Smart Public Affairs Head Ramon R. Isberto.