Government releases criteria for third telco player selection

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — The government has released the latest draft rules for the selection of the next major telecommunications player.

In a public consultation on Thursday, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) laid down three major criteria in choosing the third company that will compete with Globe and PLDT. These are national population coverage (40%), annual capital and operational expenditure (40%), and minimum average broadband speed (20%).

Several local and international firms have expressed interest to join the bidding process.

In a recent interview with CNN Philippines, Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio said the list of possible bidders include Filipino companies PT&T, Converge, Now, Easy Call, and Trans-pacific Broadband and international firms China telecom, KT Corp. and LG Uplus from South Korea, Viettel from Vietnam, and Telenor from Norway.

READ: Exclusive: 10 local, foreign firms vie for third telco spot

The winner will be selected based on widest service area, internet speed, and amount of investment.

Bidders will have to present how much of the deliverables they can commit in five years. The company that can commit the most and with greatest efficiency will win the process.

They will also be given three months to come up with their position papers and bid documents.

During the public consultation, Rio said the government will no longer wait for companies that will submit beyond the target date. The government aims to name a winner by December.

"So kung mayroon na talagang pwedeng makipagcompete sa Globe and Smart, why not go ahead no? Bakit maghihintay pa tayo nung mga iba na maybe kasing-husay din but yung mga nagawa na homework nila ay more serious than those who came lately," he said.

For consumer group Better Broadband Alliance, the standards imposed on the third telco should also be applied to current telco service providers.

"Because we'd like to have a level playing field so if you have a standard 2 mega bits per second for new player, papano naman yung existing subs ng incumbent telcos. So will that mean that they will experience service that is not at par," Grace Santos, group lead convenor, said.

CNN Philippines' correspondent Rex Remitio and digital producer Robert Vergara contributed to this report.