A FORMER Iloilo vice governor and congressman asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to cancel the Provisional Authorities (PAs) and frequency assignments granted to Wi-Tribe Telecoms, Inc. (WTTI), Hi-Frequency Telecommunication Inc. (HFTI), and New Century Telecoms, Inc. (NCTI).
In a complaint of Abyan Ilonggo (A.I.) party-list president and first nominee Rolex Suplico said that the 700 MHz frequencies assigned to these companies have been unutilized for years, in violation of the conditions contained in the provisional authorities granted by the NTC.
Suplico said that the three firms failed to comply with the conditions in the PAs which required them to start deployment of the first year of the roll-out within nine months and to launch commercial operation within 12 months from date of frequency assignment.
He added that NTC Memorandum Circular No. 3-3-96 states that the commission should review frequency assignments periodically. The agency can recall frequencies assigned to private networks if they remain unused for at least one year.
“Considering that the respondents have violated the conditions of their PAs and frequency assignments, we submit that the said PAs and frequency assignments should be recalled, cancelled or otherwise revoked,” Suplico said.
The 700 MHz band, currently held by the said companies, is one of the most sought after bands for 4G or Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployment around the world due to its efficiency, higher penetration inside buildings, and wider coverage, which reduces the number of towers required for setting up the LTE network as well as the capital expenditure involved in rolling-out and operating the network.
“One of the core programs of Abyan Ilonggo is to increase Internet speed in the country, and we believe that the utilization of the 700 MHz frequency for broadband provides a solution for this problem,” Suplico explained.
He added that aside from pushing for better Internet speed, Abyan Ilonggo’s other programs include the passage of an improved Cheaper Medicines Act and support facilities for farmers.