NTC set to release guidelines for CURE’s 3G frequency
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - January 5, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is set to release next week the guidelines for the bidding of the 3G frequency of Connectivity Unlimited Resources Inc. (CURE) that was surrendered by dominant carrier Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).

NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said the agency is just threshing out some issues and is set to finish the terms of reference for the bidding next week.

 â€œWe are in the final stages of finishing the terms of reference. We are just settling some items. Most likely we can issue the same next week,” Cordoba said.

The PLDT group surrendered the 3G frequency of CURE being used by its wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. to NTC in the middle of last year.

Smart acquired CURE from former trade minister Roberto Ongpin in 2008 for a total consideration of P419.54 million. It invested P1 billion in CURE after acquiring it from the Ongpin group.

The divestment of CURE’s 10 megahertz 3G frequency was one of the conditions set by the NTC in approving the sale of the 51.55-percent stake in Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc. of businessman John Gokongwei to the PLDT group for P69.2 billion last year.

The surrender of CURE’s 3G frequency and its permits comes after the PLDT group successfully transferred the 1.1 million subscribers of Red Mobile to Smart last July.

 â€œWe have complied already with the NTC conditions with respect to the transition period in clearing CURE with all assets except for the franchise, 3G frequency and other related permits,” PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno said after the turnover last July.

With the return of CURE’s 3G frequency and permits last July, NTC started preparing for the auction of the same within six months.

Under the terms of the NTC approval of Digitel’s sale to PLDT, the telecom giant is barred from taking part in the auction.

This early, Ayala-controlled Globe Telecom Inc. and the group of Ramon Ang of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. have expressed interest in CURE.

The PLDT Group wants to recover P2.215 billion from the sale of CURE’s 3G frequency.

The telco giant said the amount represents the total cost of equity investments in CURE; advances from Smart for operating requirements; advances from stockholders and associated funding costs.

 

 

CONNECTIVITY UNLIMITED RESOURCES INC CURE DIGITAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS PHILIPPINES INC FREQUENCY GAMALIEL CORDOBA GLOBE TELECOM INC JOHN GOKONGWEI NAPOLEON NAZARENO NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION NTC
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