my latest article for POC
Shortchanging consumers: Vanishing prepaid credits
In the Philippines, the erstwhile “texting capital of the world” with 80 billion mobile phone users, talk is anything but cheap.
Text messaging rates now cost P1 per text, while calls range from P6 to P7.50 per minute. For the average Filipino who sends 12 to 15 text messages a day, this would cost approximately P12 to P15 in regular texts, or P360 to P450 a month – closely equivalent to the daily minimum wage of P382 in the National Capital Region, higher than the minimum wages in other regions which range from P200 to P250.
According to a July 2009 survey conducted by the Computer Professionals’ Union (CPU), a group established by information communications technology (ICT) practitioners, seventy-two percent (72%) of mobile users consume P300 worth of prepaid phone credits a month, underlining how communications expenditure, texting in particular, has a huge impact on an average Filipino’s daily cost of living.
read the rest here.