Statement of SMART Communications, Inc.

Smart Communications, Inc. (“SMART”) welcomes the opportunity to reaffirm before the Philippine Competition Commission (“PCC”) its commitment to fostering healthy competition in the telco sector, and affirms its willingness to assist and cooperate in the Preliminary Inquiry that the PCC’s Competition Enforcement Office has announced in relation to a reported DITO Telecommunity Corporation (“DITO”) complaint.

SMART’s dealings with its competitors have always been animated by the spirit of fair play and good faith, because it believes that its core strength lies in its superior network and overall customer experience that have gained it millions of happy subscribers, and its actions relating to DITO are no exception.

To this end, SMART takes its duty to interconnect with other telcos seriously. Thus, beyond simply facilitating network interconnections, it has invested and continues to invest heavily in infrastructure that secures the interconnection ecosystem, including effectively detecting and blocking fraudulent calls emanating from its network for the protection of its own and its competitors’ subscribers, DITO’s included. 

This is because the integrity of the country’s entire telco network infrastructure depends on all three telco players taking the necessary measures to protect their respective facilities and networks from being exploited by criminal elements and activities. 

Thus, it is only fair that for SMART to act on DITO’s request for increase in interconnection capacity, DITO must first address the serious and continuing deficiencies in its own network that have allowed criminals to abuse interconnection facilities by fraudulently masking international calls as domestic, thereby prejudicing SMART subscribers who are victimized by scams, and depriving the government of tax revenue, and Smart of toll income.  

SMART is confident that the PCC will, in due course, clear it of any wrongdoing in respect of DITO’s reported complaint.