DICT Chief: 5 telco firms showed interest in being 3rd PH player

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 23) —The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said around five firms have shown interest in entering the duopoly of the Philippine telecommunications market.

In an interview with CNN Philippines Monday, DICT Officer-in-Charge Eliseo Rio said while they have not yet set sights on a specific player, they have been considering so-called "usual" candidates.

"Wala pa ngayon. 'Yung usual na interested [None as of late, just the usual interested firms]," Rio said.

Rio did not elaborate on what the firms were, if they were local or international.

But the acting DICT chief reiterated the final terms of reference — the document containing the rules for the selection of the third telco player — will hopefully be out by August.

"Then after that, mga 55 days for it to become effective, and after its effectivity, the contenders could start getting their bidding documents, and we'll give them about one and a half months to two months to come up with their bidding proposal," he explained.

Duterte, in his third State of the Nations Address Monday, sought for a telco firm with "reliable, inexpensive, and secure" services".

If the selection process goes smoothly, the third player may go fully operational as early as 2019, the DICT earlier said.