With the growth of the mobile subscribers in Philippines, the fixed line market been affected adversely with no growth expected in the short term. The mobile penetration had reached to more than 100% in last year making country global leader in SMS volumes and usage levels. Also the subscriber base for the broadband internet in Philippines witnessed strong growth, reaching over seven million in last year, though it just represent around 7% of the population. However the cost of telecommunications in Philippines is among the highest in the region and the VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) seems quite an affordable option for voice communications especially international calling. The debate over whether to deregulate VoIP services in Philippines has taken a tall. Also the bill seeking to classify phone calls made over Internet separately from conventional voice calls has been put in government. Different debates by The Philippines Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), competitive access providers and ISPs (Internet Service Providers) are going on to treat the VoIP services differently in country.
The VoIP services in Philippines are currently allowed for international services but only to six companies with international gateway licenses. The VoIP is mainly used in BPO industry in Philippines which is more than 1 billion dollar industry in country. However to reduce the international calling costs, Philippians use various subscriptions and packages offered by many global VoIP players. The reverse is true for the Philippians who wants to stay in constant touch with their loved ones in back home in Philippines and looking for cheap international calls to Philippines. The two leading internet telephony players are Skype and TringMe provide cheap international calls to Philippines. Where first is known for making video calls whereas later is leading in making HD voice quality calls to landline and mobile phone calls with one the cheapest rates in the VoIP calling industry allowing its subscribers to make cheap calls to Philippines. Though the usage of Smartphone's and high speed internet services is growing at a considerable rate, and people started to realise the benefits of new technology, the potential of using VoIP calls still not harnessed at its fullest as in other Asian countries like in Japan and India due to lack of clarity on status of the VoIP services in Philippines.
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