September 2001 Archive
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 Davao Light's Text Service. If there's anything we've learned over this whole text reduction brouhahaha, it's that text - or short message service (SMS) - has already been transformed from a mere fad to an absolute necessity. Last Saturday's "boycott" was waged not just by teenagers but by serious folks who understand that SMS is a serious form of communication employed by businessmen and professionals - as well as those who should probably be doing something better with their time. Cell phones have jumped from the trend category to a bona fide utility.
 Davao Light's Text Service . Davao Light's deal with Smart Communications is a sweet one because it did not have to pay Smart - nor did it have to invest too heavily in hardware. Bong Saniel, corporate communications staff who handles the company's website, said practically the only requirement on their end was the website, which is what Smart accesses and relays back to the subscribers. Engineer Ronald Chan, systems operations department manager, said they only had to hire a programmer to create the software that will interface with Smart and search the website when information is requested - and then relay it back through Smart.
 Horror Story. Here's one more taxicab horror story: late the other night I took a cab - one of those rundown "indie" units - from Ulas to our home in Mintal, and on the way the driver fell asleep on the wheel! I was about to doze off myself, but I sensed that we were slowing down. I opened my eyes and to my horror the cab was already halfway into the opposite lane - with a truck rushing towards us (OK, it was a good 500 meters away, but it was still scary). I turned to the driver and saw that his eyes were closed; he had suddenly decided to take a nap right on the wheel. I shouted for him to wake up, and he managed to swerve us to the right lane to avert a disaster.
 Positive Reinforcement. Over the past two weeks first District Rep. Prospero Nograles has taken on the giant telecom firms, firing off two proposals that may change the landscape for wireless communications in the country. First, he proposed last week that buyers of Subscriber Identification Modules (SIM) be made to register their names and other pertinent information. As I understand it, the rationale of House Bill 150 is to ensure that a) malicious texts could be traced to their source and b) the country is not cheated of taxes from the sale of SIMs.
 Positive Reinforcement . The other day Rep. Prospero Nograles said he wants Globe Telecom (curiously, he did not include Smart Communications) investigated for apparently operating its short message service (SMS) without a permit from the government. Apparently, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has classified SMS as a value added service, while Globe insists it is a special feature. Nograles' bottom line is that Globe "never registered with NTC to operate text messaging services, and there is now a need to determine by what authority the company is operating such services."
2001 Jon Joaquin. All rights reserved.