UK’s Vodafone explores possibility of entering Philippines
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — British conglomerate Vodafone Group plc. is exploring the possibility of entering the Philippines as a new major telecommunications player, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) said yesterday.

During a press briefing, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said he had met with officials of Vodafone during an official visit to London last week.

Diokno said he informed Vodafone of the Philippine government’s plan to introduce a third telco player, in hopes of breaking the duopoly in the sector.

“While I was in UK, I was able to meet various members of British business, education and government sectors in hopes of securing investments and partnerships for the Philippines. Some highlights of the meetings include the possibility of Vodaphone entering as our third telecommunications player. As you know, Vodaphone is the biggest telco in the world,” Diokno said.

According to Diokno, Vodafone “appeared interested” in entering the local telecommunications market during their discussion. But he said it is not yet certain if the company will participate in the bidding for the third telco player.

“I have no idea, they’re making their due diligence, and they’ll probably find out if it’s worth their while to participate,“ he said.

Even so, Diokno said the British telco giant could still possibly enter the market even after a third telco player has already been selected.

During their discussions, Diokno said Vodafone officials also raised concerns on the ease of doing business in the country.

“They asked many questions, because it is the biggest telco company in the world, they want to make sure that we’ll protect their reputation,” he said.

Last September, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) published Memorandum Circular 09-09-2018, which laid out the final rules and regulations on the selection of a new major player in the telecommunications market.

According to DICT, interested parties can submit bidding documents until November 5, while the selection is targeted to be completed by the end of the year.

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