Special Report on the Economy

NTC to help 3rd telco pass legal hurdles

The National Telecommunications Commission said it will help the third major player in the telecom sector overcome legal hurdles.

“We are studying all possible legal issues. We have to minimize the probability of bringing it to the court. Anybody can go to court but we will make sure that they can’t get an injunction,” NTC deputy commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said. 

Cabarios said the agency’s legal team was now looking at how to avoid controversies to make sure there would be no delay in the entry of a third player. 

The Department of Information and Communications Technology earlier issued policy guidelines in selecting the major third player in the telecom industry. 

Under the guidelines, the applicant with the highest committed investments for the first five years would be selected and should issue a performance bond. 

The  potential applicant for a third player should have a valid Congressional telecommunications franchise.  It should not be a subsidiary or affiliate of either Globe Telecom and PLDT Group of companies.

Cabarios said the potential candidates for the third player should invest at least P250 billion to P300 billion over five years to compete with the existing players. 

PLDT and Globe Telecom announced they would spending P50 billion and over P40 billion, respectively to expand their mobile and fixed-broadband networks this year.

Cabarios said the government expected to select the third player by end of March this year and the new player to start rolling out its services by end of 2018. 

Among the possible third telecom players are Mel Velarde’s Now Telecom, PT&T and Converge ICT Solutions Inc. along with their foreign partners.

Cabarios said the agency would assign all available mobile frequency, including the 3G frequency surrendered by PLDT Inc. to the third player.

He said the new player would pay PLDT over P3 billion for the 3G frequency.


Topics: ntc , telecom sector , legal hurdles , Edgardo Cabarios , PLDT
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