PHILIPPINES – Globe Telecom is open to the entry of new players in the local telecommunications industry as this will foster a healthy competitive environment that will ultimately benefit consumers.
“As repeatedly stated before, Globe is not opposed to the entry of a third player, or for that matter, as many players that the market can accommodate. Globe has always geared itself for growth and competition,” said Froilan Castelo, Globe General Counsel and Senior Vice President. “Competition has the potential of opening up new sources of revenue streams for telecommunications players while benefiting consumers with more innovative products and services at competitive rates.”
This month, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) released two versions of the terms of reference (TOR) for selecting a new major telecommunications player.
To help foster competition, Globe recently took a step forward to fulfill its plans to divest its tower assets. It has started the process of incorporating a separate tower holding company. Once regulatory approvals are secured, this initiative will allow the third player to rapidly roll out its network and launch commercial operations. It will also give smaller players the opportunity to scale up their business without the burden of high capital expenditures.
Castelo said Globe has no specific objection on the draft TOR for the selection of a new telco player. “We trust the government will do what is fair and just – not only in the selection of the new major player, but also in protecting the vested rights of the current service providers.”
These protected rights include the right to be secure in the frequency holdings allocated by the government. Republic Act (RA) 7925 states “the government shall allocate the spectrum to service providers who will use it efficiently and effectively to meet public demand for telecommunications service.”
Efficient spectrum allocation
In a public consultation held on Friday, July 6, DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. raised concerns on the utilization of some allocated spectrum, particularly the 3G frequencies.
“For 3G frequencies, did you know that Globe has only 10 Megahertz (Mhz) as against the 25 Mhz of Smart? Globe has [over 63] million subscribers as against the 30 to 35 million subscribers of Smart. So who’s using the frequencies more efficiently?,” Rio said during the public consultation.
To date, the Globe network carries twice the data traffic than that of competition. Globe received an allocation of only 10 Mhz of 3G frequency, the smallest allocation on this band.