DICT issues stricter guidelines for entry of 3rd telco player

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The entry of a third telecommunications player is expected to challenge the duopoly of Globe Telecom and PLDT.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 19) — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has issued tighter guidelines for the entry of the third telecommunications player in the Philippines.

An April 13 memorandum order signed by DICT Officer-In-Charge Eliseo Rio enumerated the minimum financial and technical requirements for those interested to apply as the third telco provider.

Under the current order, an interested telco company must have paid in capital of at least ₱10 billion and experience in telco operations for the last five years.

The company must also hold a congressional franchise unrelated to dominant telco players, and has no outstanding liabilities with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). as of January 31, 2018.

The April 13 order is a step up from the January 8 order, which required new players to not have corporate or financial interest in the Globe Telecom Group and the PLDT group — the telco duopoly in the country.

But the order is separate from the final terms of reference under consultation with stakeholders and the NTC. The terms of reference will contain rules for the selection of the third telco player and the awarding of radio frequencies to the winning party.

"This is without prejudice to the formulation of a new selection criteria or modification thereof by the NTC, in consultattion with DICT and the Oversight Committee created under Administrative Order No. 11 dated April 6, 2018," the order read.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, on Twitter  said that in order to compete successfully against the two telecommunications giants, this new teleco player should be able to invest at least ₱200 billion.

 

Because of the magnitude of such investments, Dominguez said that the bidding for the third telco company can not be rushed.