Friday 18 January

Bidding war for No.3 player: Smart-Globe duopoly killer should have franchise, at least P400B


The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has released its guidelines for the entry of a new major player in the local telecommunications industry.

Applicants should have a valid congressional franchise; not a subsidiary, affiliate, or have any corporate or financial interest with PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom as of December 31, 2017 and have a written and binding commitment from a foreign venture company.

?The applicant with the highest committed investment for the first five years shall be selected,? according to Memorandum Order No. 1 issued last January 8, 2018 and signed by DICT OIC Usec. Eliseo Rio Jr.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is set to promulgate on February 19 the Memorandum Circular containing the Terms of Reference for the selection and the assignment of radio frequencies for the new major player in the telco industry.

The new major player will be assigned the frequency bands that are now available for assignment as identified by the NTC.

Rio earlier said that state-run China Telecom, KDDI Corp. of Japan, LG Uplus of South Korea and an unidentified Taiwanese company have expressed their interest to invest in the Philippines to become a third major telco player in partnership with a local firm.

A prospective third telco player needs to invest around PHP300 P400 billion for the next five years according to the DICT.

Earlier, PLDT welcomed the entry of a new player in the industry and are awaiting for the outcome of the government?s decision.

?We welcome the entry of the third telco player. All we can do is to prepare for that. Our job is to build a superior network for fixed and wireless,? PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said in an interview with reporters.

PLDT is investing more than P50 billion this year for network improvements and deployment of facilities for wireless and fixed line businesses.

For its part, Globe has set a capital expenditure of $850 million which will be spent to meet customer demand for more bandwidth intensive content. (PNA)


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