Is the search for a third telecommunications player dead as a Facebook post claims it is? According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology stated on June 16th, the search is still on.
Pierre Galla, the co-founder of Democracy.net, posted on social media that highly talked about third telco player wasn’t going to happen after all. The current chief of DICT, Eliseo Rio, said this couldn’t be more false. He claims the post was just an opinion and that a third player is pending.
While Rio won’t release any specific details about the search, he did state there were no plans to quit paving the way for a third player. However, he did say he was disappointed the bidding process has faced yet another delay, which only helps fuels rumors like Galla’s.
The DICT had already stated that the oversight committee has discovered multiple major problems that could prevent a new telco from being competitive, including no common tower policy, BayanTel’s frequency spectrum, interconnection rate problems and National Grid Corp. of the Philippines-Transco Dark Fiber commercialization. All of these issues must be resolved before a new player would stand a chance against Globe and PLDT.
Originally, the third telco was supposed to have already been operational by early 2018, but that deadline passed without any approvals. Now, the deadline has been pushed back to late 2018. Of course, the final deadline all depends on when the above issues are effectively resolved and a third player is able to meet all necessary requirements to be a competitive player in the market.
While Rio wouldn’t disclose any minutes from meetings as Galla requested, he did release that at least three companies are interested in becoming the third major telco player. These include NOWCorp., Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. and ICT Converge Solutions, Inc.