• PLDT cries foul over frequency allocation

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    The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is again opposing the joint application of rival telecom Globe, saying that its competitor would have significantly more frequencies per subscriber than the PLDT Group.

    In a filing with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the filing reiterates “PLDT’s opposition to the joint application dated October 8, 2013 filed by Globe and Bayantel.

    “If the Joint Application of Globe and Bayan is approved, Globe and Bayantel, which have only 37 percent share as against PLDT Group’s 62 percent share of the cellular and broadband market, would be acquiring a grossly disproportionate amount of frequencies in relation to its subscriber base,” the filing said.

    PLDT in opposing the joint application contended that, “Should Globe be allowed to control a grossly disproportionate amount of frequencies in relation to its number of subscribers, there would be no parity between the concerned players in the industry insofar as subscriber-to-bandwith ratio is concerned.

    “Globe would have significantly more frequencies per subscriber than the PLDT Group (Smart and Digitel Mobile Phil. or Sun Cellular), such that, for each megahertz (MHz) of bandwidth, there is an estimated 70,000 subscriber gap. Simply stated, there are 70,000 subscribers of PLDT Group that would suffer for each MHz that would be disproportionately assigned to Globe.

    “To date, Bayantel has no subscribers to its cellular mobile service and has yet to roll-out its Nationwide Cellular Mobile Telephone System (CMTS) despite being authorized to construct, install, operate and maintain the same as early as 2000,” PLDT’s filing pointed out.

    “If Globe is allowed to control a grossly disproportionate amount of frequencies in relation to its number of subscribers, this would preclude other more qualified telecommunications carriers from making us of such frequencies, stifling their capabilities and forcing them to strain their allocated frequencies, making it more difficult to provide better services to their subscribers. This is anti-competitive, anti-consumer and contrary to the good of subscribing public,” PLDT’s complaint concluded.

    Meanwhile in a separate filing with the NTC, Globe said that, “The only genuine issue in the instant application is whether or not the debt-to-equity conversion transaction between Globe and Bayan — a transaction approved by the Regional Trial Court in Pasay City, Branch 158, sitting as Rehabilitation Court in the Matter of Corporate Rehabilitation of Bayan docketed as SEC Case no. 03-25 — would vest in the former more than 40 percent of the described capital stock of the latter.

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