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Operational issues delay launch of ABS-CBN mobile

MANILA, Philippines - Operational issues continued to delay the entry of a third player in the country’s telecommunication industry through the partnership between multimedia giant ABS-CBN Corp. and Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc.

ABS-CBN chief financial officer Aldrin Cerrado said the partnership is making sure that the new telecom provider would be able to deliver service to subscribers nationwide.

 “Once out in the market, we want to make sure to service the Philippines nationwide. We don’t just want to be present in Metro Manila,” Cerrado said.

He said the partnership through ABS-CBN Convergence Inc. was supposed to launch ABS-CBN Mobile within the month but would most likely be delayed as operational issues are still being resolved.

“Yes, we’re a little bit behind. We are making sure that our subscribers will be happy,” he added.

According to him, the partnership is finalizing deal with the suppliers of SIM cards.

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“We are just making sure that all our support system is ready to support the subscribers,” he said.

Last May, ABS-CBN and Globe forged an agreement to launch ABS-CBN Mobile as a third player in the competitive telecommunications industry dominated by rivals Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Globe.

The broadcast firm through ABS-CBN Convergence would offer traditional telecom services such as voice calls and short messaging system (SMS) as well as wireless internet to deliver content just like the two major players.

ABS-CBN is spending P3 billion to acquire communications equipment and for working capital while utilizing the network of Globe nationwide.

Under the partnership, ABS-CBN would buy capacity from Globe on a wholesale basis as part of the network sharing agreement to deliver its content and to offer traditional telecoms services such as voice and SMS services on mobile devices.

A week after the partnership, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) gave ABS-CBN and Globe the green light to co-use network infrastructure.

The regulator has approved the network sharing agreement as well as the co-use of number blocks between Globe’s Innove Communications Inc. and ABS-CBN Convergence.




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