Archive for the ‘telecoms’ Category

Philippine Interconnectivity Story
September 26, 2007

I want to talk about the story of Philippine Internet interconnectivity. The Philippine Internet hasn’t achieved a fully local setup where traffic from one network to another can avoid passing abroad. This was a pressing concern of mine back in my previous career in Internet services.

I first wanted to document this when the Do we actually have broadband in RP? and how’s your DSL in the Philippines topics came up three months ago.

Little did I know that the topic would become a matter of national interest, and not just a play topic of IP networking geeks. This is thanks to the ZTE “broadband scandal.”

In summary, there have been many attempts to put together Internet exchanges. Two were telco-run: the Philippine Internet Exchange by PLDT, and the Manila Internet Exchange by Eastern Telecoms. There was a Globe Internet Exchange, but this was an IP transit provider and not an IX. There was also the “Come On Route Everybody” (CORE) of PHnet.

Recently, the PHOpenIX has been the latest service (or attempt?) at this.

I don’t know the actual operational details or status of these systems.

It’s ironic that the ZTE story revives this old interconnectivity story, because it’s politics – commercial politics, not national – that have hindered the interconnectivity attempts of the past.

I’m not even sure how useful local interconnectivity for ordinary users because most people use US-hosted services (e.g. GMail) or host their content in US hosting sites (which I am doing with this blog.) Back in the day I was trying to push the development of PH-hosted content and applications but that didn’t work out. Now with Web 2.0 economies of scale, the prospects of hosting stuff in PH are next to nil.

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Does anyone make 3G video calls?
January 1, 2007

The Nokia 6233 and some 3G phones have no front camera.

I never made a video call on the N80. Then I lost it.

I still haven’t made a video call on the N70.

Are video calls the new MMS? (Apologies to the MMS users and developers…)

Europe Roaming Charges
October 30, 2006

i read some time ago about the discussions or negotiations between the EU and mobile operators about the price of roaming between European countries. It’s no joke.

I got my Smart phone bill. The calls I made from Germany to the Philippines were PhP 123 per minute! These are listed under “roaming operator charge,” with a zero toll charge. The roaming operator is “MM GERMANY”. This is most likely T-Mobile DE since I was roaming with them most of the time.

If I remember right, this rate is 15% on top of the operator’s IDD rate. If this is correct, then the IDD rate is fantastic.

On the other hand, SMS is not bad at PhP 7.58. This was PhP 32 per SMS when I was in Israel.
On the other hand, the incoming calls that I got were only PhP 20.54 (US$ 0.40 I guess) on the toll charge, with zero roaming operator charge.