PLDT justifies usage of 700 Mhz spectrum

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - July 2, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Telecom giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) has debunked the claims of the Internet Society of the Philippine (ISOC) which downplayed the importance of the 700 Mhz frequency.

“Capacity is determined by the available bandwidth on a frequency band. Regardless of whether the spectrum is high or low band. So, 10 Mhz in 700 Mhz have same capacity or speed as 10 Mhz in 2100 Mhz or in 3500 Mhz,” said Ray Espinosa, head of PLDT’s Regulatory Affairs and Policy Office.

Espinosa explained that the real value of the 700 Mhz band is well-established: it has longer range and better indoor peneration.

“When combined with other frequency bands, the 700 Mhz band is very effective in providing wireless Internet connectivity, particularly in rural areas where populations are widely dispersed and in densely-built up urban areas,” he said.

Espinosa said the view on the importance of the 700 Mhz is not just held by the telecommunications companies, but by other sectors as well.

“This assessment of the importance of the 700 Mhz band isn’t just our view. This is the consensus of governments, industry and independent experts all over the world,” Espinosa said.

He also cited a 2012 study conducted by the GSMA and the Boston Consulting Group which found out that using the 700 MHz band for mobile data would lead to “significant” socioeconomic benefits higher economic growth, more jobs and new businesses, and higher tax revenues for government.

“So, contrary to the view of the Internet Society, the 700 Mhz band is indeed a valuable resource for improving Internet services and promoting economic and social development,” Espinosa said.

He reiterated the results of the National Telecommunications Commission’s review and approval of the immediate co-use of the frequencies that PLDT and Globe gained access to through their purchase of San Miguel’s telecoms business.

This, he said,was in line with the declared national policy that government should allocate spectrum to service providers who would use it effectively and efficiently to meet the public demand for telecoms services.

“Thus, the San Miguel transaction serves the public interest by taking a balanced approach. On the one hand, it makes available powerful frequencies that can be immediately used to deliver a valuable public service to tens of millions of Filipinos and to support economic and social development. On the other, it leaves the door open for new entrants in the industry,” Espinosa said.

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