American company AT&T, six other foreign telecom operators and five local firms expressed interest to participate in the bidding for the third major telco franchise in the Philippines that will challenge the duopoly of PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.
Information Communications and Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio told reporters “China Telecom, LG Uplus Corp., Korea Telecom, Vietnam Telecom, AT&T, Telenor [of Norway] and a Japanese telco company” were interested to join the bidding for the new telecom player franchise.
Rio said the local telco players that were keen on joining the selection process included Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp., Converge ICT, Transpacific Broadband Group Inc., EasyCall Communications Phils. Inc. and TierOne.
“They showed interest, but we don’t know if they are serious until they buy bidding documents and the time line is around Sept. 26,” Rio said at the sidelines of the public hearing on the selection of the new major player.
James Velasquez, president and chief executive of PT&T, confirmed that his company was ready to participate in the bidding for the third player.
“We have been preparing to bid as early as six months ago. We are just waiting to move forward and we are ready to submit our proposal,” Velasquez said, when asked for comment,
The Department of Information and Communication Technology said it was expecting to name the third telco by December this year. The agency earlier adopted the highest committed level of service model in the selection of the third major telco player.
Under the HCLoS, the criteria for the selection of new major telco player are national population coverage (40 percent weightage), minimum average broadband speed (20 percent weightage) and an annual capital and operational expenditure (40 percent weightage) computed annually over a five-year period.
Meanwhile, the annual minimum levels for each of the criteria are 30 percent for national population coverage, 5 megabits per second for the minimum average broadband speed and a minimum of P40 billion for the capital and operational expenditure.
The selection committee will use a point system based on the documents submitted by the potential players.
The National Telecommunications Commission will assign the frequencies 700 megahertz, 850 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2010 MHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 10.5 GHz to the new major player.