The Philippines' mobile operators face having to pay “billions of pesos” in compensation for not complying with an order to reduce cross-network text messaging charges.
Regulator NTC has rejected motions from Globe Telecom and PLDT's two mobile units seeking to reverse the order to cut SMS rates, ABS-CBN Newsreported.
The NTC instructed the operators to cut cross-network SMS rates from 1 peso ($0.023) to 0.80 pesos.
Operators have also been told to compensate their customers for the excess charges since the original order to cut SMS rates became effective in late 2011, as part of a mandated cut in interconnection charges.
These refunds could range into the billions of pesos due to the time that has passed since the order, according to an NTC official.
After the NTC upped the ante on its order in November 2012, demanding penalties of 200 pesos per day until the cut is made as well as compensation for customers, PLDT and Globe filed appeals with the NTC.
But the regulator has now decided to reject the motions. The telcos now have the option to take the dispute to an appeals court.
A billion pesos is worth around $22.6 million.