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China Telecom, Europe firm join 3rd telco bid

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
China Telecom, Europe firm join 3rd telco bid
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said China Telecom and Mobiltel Holding GmbH purchased bid documents yesterday, joining six other firms which have paid P1 million, respectively to acquire the documents since it started becoming available to interested participants on Monday.
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MANILA, Philippines — China Telecom, China’s largest telecommunications company, has advanced its intent to become the country’s third telco player, while another European company is looking to enter the fray.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said China Telecom and Mobiltel Holding GmbH purchased bid documents yesterday, joining six other firms which have paid P1 million, respectively to acquire the documents since it started becoming available to interested participants on Monday.

China Telecom and Mobiltel were the second and third foreign firms which bought the bid documents so far, after Norway’s Telenor Group made its purchase on Monday. 

Other companies which have also purchased documents are Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp., TierOne Communications International Inc. in partnership with Luis “Chavit” Singson’s LCS Group of Companies, NOW Telecom, Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp., and a local company who declined to be identified.

President Duterte in November last year personally handpicked China to invest in the Philippines’ telecom industry, believing it would improve internet speed in the country which has been a constant problem among consumers. The state-owned China Telecom was then chosen to invest in the Philippines.

The government, however, decided to select the third telco player through a competitive bidding process.

Mobiltel, meanwhile, is part of Telekom Austria Group which is a leading provider of digital services and communications solutions in Central and Eastern Europe.

China Telecom, Mobiltel, and other foreign companies which are interested to join will have to partner with or form a consortium with a local Congressional franchise holder to be eligible to vie for the new major player slot.

Duterte wants a third telco player that would compete with giants PLDT and Globe to provide Filipinos with better services at cheaper costs.

Meanwhile, third telco aspirant NOW Telecom’s petition for the issuance of temporary restraining order (TRO) against the government’s third telco selection process has been thumbed down.

In a decision released yesterday, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 42 denied NOW’s prayer for the issuance of a TRO as the company seeks to enjoin certain provisions of Memorandum Circular No. 09-09-2018 or the “Rules and Regulations on the Selection Process for a New Major Player in the Philippine Communications Market.”

The Court found no basis to issue the TRO based on requites that include the applicant having a clear and unmistakable right to be protected, a material and substantial invasion of such right, an urgent need for the writ to prevent irreparable injury to the applicant, and no other ordinary, speedy, and adequate remedy exists to prevent the infliction or irreparable injury.

The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 42 scheduled on Oct 23 and 24 hearing for NOW’s request for preliminary prohibitory injunction.

NOW Telecom, an affiliate of publicly-listed company NOW Corp., filed a case on Monday against the NTC for alleged legal violations in the new major player terms of reference (TOR) which took effect last week.

NOW Telecom questioned the insertion of new requirements in the TOR which it said were not taken up during the public hearings.   

CHINA TELECOM

NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

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