Perhaps the reality has sinked into the senses of the National Telecommunications Commission. Instead of coaxing the mobile service providers to offer free SMS, it now opted to lower cross-network text and voice services by reducing the interconnection rates. But Filipinos are persistent. If we can’t uproot a whole tree, we’ll just chop it down.
So goes a new outcry around: If we can’t have free text messaging, then prepaid load must not have expiry dates. Seem simple? Well, not really. When that happens, the telcos may stop selling low-denomination reloads for cost-efficiency in their operations. As I pointed out in my previous blog entry, we can only look forward to lower charges for wireless services and longer prepaid load validity.
On a lighter note, Smart Communications will be pioneering Asia’s first ad-funded mobile phone network this month through its subsidiary Connectivity Unlimited Resourse Enterprise (CURE). CURE aims to provide mobile services for free by “pushing” mobile advertisements to its subscribers. The sponsoring brands or entities will “pay” for the charges that would otherwise be shouldered by the wireless consumers.
It is a promising venture and if it proves to be as successful as the free TV and free email that we enjoy now, we won’t get shocked by “Check Operator Services” or “SMS Barred” warnings from our phones again. Who would buy non-expiring prepaid load by then? That would be the time to afford ourselves an Apple iPhone, a Nokia 8800, or a MOTOROKR E8.