Filipino telecoms operators Globe Telecom and Bayan Telecommunications (Bayan) have reportedly completed 100% interconnection of their networks across the country. In a statement, Globe said that local interconnection between its Globelines-branded wireline service and Bayan’s fixed line offering was activated commercially in Northern Samar and Western Samar on 10 December. Subscribers in each of those areas can now call each other and be charged a local call rate, without having to pay a long-distance call rate. The Manila Times writes that Globe and Bayant have common areas of operation in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the provinces of Iloilo, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Negros Occidental, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Misamis Oriental, Agusan del Norte, Davao del Sur, South Cotabato, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon.
Globe says the move towards 100% interconnection with its rival forms part of a wider strategy to complete agreements with rival phone firms as part of efforts to expand its network to reach more subscribers and to spur development in key growth areas outside the NCR. The telecoms regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), mandates compulsory interconnection of authorised public telecommunications carriers under Republic Act 7925. The Act aims to achieve universal access and to integrate national networks to encourage infrastructure investment from the private sector.