In compliance with a request from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), PLDT Inc. has officially surrendered one frequency to the government.
The surrendered frequency is to be allocated to a new major telecommunications player in the local area. As per the directive from the NTC, PLDT is giving the frequency freely. The 10 MHz 3G radio frequency was previously allocated to Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises Inc. (CURE).
In a March 5th letter from PLDT CEO and Chairman Manuel V. Pangillinan to the NTC, Pangillinan confirmed that PLDT waives all rights to any investment reimbursements that may be associated with the said frequency. Also, the new recipient is under no obligation to pay back any costs to PLDT. CURE also officially released a statement saying their company won’t claim any costs either as the frequency is assigned to another telco.
However, PLDT originally wanted to be reimbursed by the third party telco at a minimum of PHP3 billion once the frequency was turned over to the government by CURE. The NTC has planned to hold an auction to obtain the 3G frequency license, but backed out of that plan due to difficulties in determining the true value of the frequency.
Ultimately, PLDT had to surrender the frequency for free due to a condition set back in 2012 when the company acquired Sun Cellular from the Gokongwei Group. This allowed the NTC and new telco player from having to invest anything in the frequency.
Despite the negotiations, the new telco player isn’t planned to be identified until early June of this year. All of this is just in preparation of the announcement. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) sought to boost interest in any investors who desired to become the third major telco company in the area by extending the bidding deadline from March to May 24th.