In a social media post Friday, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said China Telecom signified its interest to become the country’s new major service provider after the Chinese state-owned company bought bidding documents.
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State-run China Telecom eyes 3rd telco slot
Ian Nicolas Cigaral (philstar.com) - October 12, 2018 - 6:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — China Telecom Corp. Ltd. is now among the potential bidders that will compete to become the Philippines’ third telecoms player, as the government seeks to break a longstanding duopoly and improve services.

In a social media post Friday, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said China Telecom signified its interest to become the country’s new major service provider after the Chinese state-owned company bought bid documents.

Mobiltel Holding GmbH also on Friday purchased bid documents, bringing the number of prospective bidders to eight.

Other possible investors in the Philippines’ telecoms industry are Norway’s Telenor Group, LCS Group of Companies with TierOne Communications, Udenna Corporation, NOW Telecom, PT&T Corporation and an undisclosed bidder.

‘Junked’

In a related development, the DICT on Friday said the search for a new player will push through after a Manila court junked NOW Telecom’s request for a halt order.

Last Monday, NOW Telecom sued the government for allegedly inserting new “money making” requirements that were not taken up during public hearings on the selection rules.

READ: Aspirant for 3rd telco sues NTC for 'money-making' requirements

According to the DICT, Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 42 denied NOW Telecom’s request for a temporary restraining order.

“We will push through as scheduled,” DICT acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said, adding that China Telecom’s purchase of bid documents shows companies’ confidence in the selection process that NOW Telecom challenged.

President Rodrigo Duterte had invited foreign firms to take a role in the country’s wireless communications market to stir up competition.

Under the Constitution, foreign companies are limited to 40 percent ownership in telecoms and would need to partner with a local firm.

Duterte earlier offered China to become his country’s third telecoms provider.

But Philippine lawmakers have raised concerns that the expected entry of Chinese firms could threaten national security, as the two countries spar over the resource rich South China Sea.

Under a 27-page memorandum circular, the company with “highest committed level of service” will be picked as the Philippines’ new telecoms player.

Incumbents PLDT and Globe said they welcome the new challenger.

The government is expected to name the new entrant in December this year. — with a report from BusinessWorld

CHINA TELECOM THIRD TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLAYER
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