China has long been on the run for those who are interested in partnering up with a local partner to become the Philippines’ third telco player.
A top official of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DITC) said that there are four more communication companies from countries that aren’t China who are vying for the telco spot.
Officer-in-charge of DICT, Elisei Rio Jr. told reporters on the press briefing last Wednesday that even if President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that the third telco will be from China, the possibility of having a telco from another country is still possible, Inquirer reports.
“I must emphasize here that for that slot, it is not [necessarily] the China telco. What came out in the news was the President ordered us to open up the industry and the China telco will be the third player. That’s not true,”
Harry Roque, the presidential spokesperson said that the president wants the third telco player to be “up and about” by the first quarter of next year.
Roque also added that if an application was not approved within seven days then it would be considered approved.
Meanwhile, Rio emphasized that to be named the third telco, the company would have to have at least $2.7 billion to be able to compete with the existing telcos.
Rio also did not identify the four companies, giving them the chance to make the announcements themselves. However, he said that these companies are from the United States, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
Over the interview, Rio was able to drop known companies from other countries like Australia’s Telstra Corp. and Japan’s NTT Communications Corp., but it is not sure if these are the companies who are interested.
These two companies, however, are already partnered with San Miguel Corp. And PLDT respectively. It is still unclear if their current partnership will be affected if they apply.
But as Rio stated, nothing is official yet.
“They just indicated through some publications that they are interested.”
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