DICT issues guidelines for selection of 3rd telco player

MANILA The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) released on Monday its guidelines for the selection of a new major player in the local telecommunications industry.

The DICT said in a memorandum circular that companies bidding to become a third major telco player should have an existing legislative franchise with at least 60-percent Filipino ownership of its shares; must not be related to any telco group with a mobile and wireless market share of at least 40 percent; and have a proven technical capability in operating a telecommunications service.

Participants must also have a net worth of at least PHP10 billion based on their latest audited financial statements. They should have a significant financial investment for five years.

The department will create a Selection Committee, consisting of a chairperson and two members that will handle the selection process. The committee shall determine the new major telco player with the highest bid among the participants.

The DICT is looking to conduct a "reverse bidding", where it will grant a provisional authority and award the available 3G and 4G frequencies to the winning bidder.

The department earlier said it seeks to extend the original March deadline for the selection of the third telco player to May to attract more investors.

The Philippine Telegraph and Telephone (PT&T), Now Corporation, and Converge ICT are eyeing to form their separate consortia with foreign partners, as they expressed their interest to become the new major telco player.

Telco companies from China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have likewise signified their interest to invest in the industry.

A prospective third telco player needs to invest around PHP300 billion to PHP400 billion over the next five years, according to the DICT.

Source: Philippine News Agency