PLDT’s Pangilinan balks at frequency reallocation


THE Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) plan to redistribute frequencies to make the allocation of the telecommunications spectrum more equitable is a “serious matter of public interest,” PLDT Inc. chairman Manny V. Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan told reporters last week that the telecommunication assets PLDT acquired from San Miguel Corp. (SMC) had been used to improve internet services in the country.

He noted that the group’s wireless subsidiaries—Smart, Sun and TN—were “using extensively the frequencies we acquired from San Miguel.”

PLDT and Globe Telecom joined forces in 2016 for the buyout of SMC’s telco assets amounting to P69.1 billion.

DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio, Jr. was earlier reported as saying the agency would hold public hearings on the reallocation of frequencies this coming February.

Rio said in a Facebook post that a potential third telco player would not be competitive even with a strong financial backing since only 12.8 percent of the spectrum remains available based on estimates by the Philippine Competition Commission.

Meanwhile, Pangilinan said PLDT welcomed new competition in the market, noting that the telco would further equip its networks to guard its position in the industry.

“All we can do at this stage is to prepare for that. Also, the main role is to really build a superior network for fixed and wireless to ensure that our services are world-class,” he said.

“As I said earlier or late last year, we will show that with the level of capex (capital expenditures) that we will announce soon … north of P50 billion, to demonstrate that we’re getting serious about not only with wireless network but also our fixed [business],” he added.

Pangilinan said they may disclose the official capex budget for this year at the end of January.

He added PLDT would continue its aggressive rollout of its fiber network across the country as it is the “most robust way of delivering internet services” especially to homes and enterprises.


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