The NTC bars PLDT and Globe Telecom from buying third telco

The National Telecommunications Commission has prevented incumbent telcos, PLDT and Globe Telecom, from buying out the Philippines third telco in the future.

According to Edgardo Cabarios, the deputy commissioner of the NTC has said that the regulator will include a condition in the guidelines for a new major telecoms player that will prevent it from selling all the major frequencies it will get from the government.

Cabarios went to say that the government would recall all of its mobile frequencies should the new telecoms player sell its company in the future.

Next month NTC will release a draft memorandum circular (MC) that will contain the terms for the selection and assignment of mobile frequencies to new telecoms players.

After a period of consultation, the MC will be made available on 6 March 2018, with a view to accept bidding documents from interested parties until 27 March 2018.

The selected telco is expected to receive up to 300 Mhz mobile frequencies from The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the NTC. Higher than the previously expected allocation of only 85Mhz.

The government are also set to release its common tower policy next month, to help the new telco player grow its infrastructure nationwide. Contained within the policy are rules which state that tower companies must build cellular towers in underserved regions and lease out these facilities to the new telco player.

In addition, the new entrant must also be able to build at 2,000 to 3,000 base stations nationwide in order to compete with PLDT and Globe which has over 12,000 and 7,000 base stations respectively.

The DICT has said that it will make its decision on who the third telco will be based on the company that is able to show the highest committed investment for the first five years and that a decision will be reached by Q2 of this year.

Last year Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte indicated that he would give China the opportunity to create and run a third telecoms carrier in the country in an attempt to break the duopoly between PLDT and Globe.

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