‘New’ telco player known Tuesday

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A wi-fi antenna.

A “provisional” third telco player may be named on 7 November after the bidding for the Philippines’ third telecommunications player on the same day, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Tuesday is the deadline for the submission of bids for the telco aspirants.

DICT acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr., in a statement yesterday, said the winning telco bidder — who will challenge the so-called duopoly of Globe and PLDT — is “just provisional” as it would still undergo a post qualification process, to allow the DICT and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to verify their submitted documents.

“It is the participants who will input their commitments during the opening of bids then their scores based on their commitments will be automatically computed… There’s no human intervention in the computation,” Rio said.

He added the selection process would be aided by a computer program and no person can influence the process.

The DICT will be using the highest committed level of service in selecting the third telco player based on three major criteria: national coverage (40 percent), Internet speed (25 percent) and capital expenditures (35 percent).

The NTC, on the other hand, said that it would be ready to receive bids on 5 and 6 November from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on 7 November from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

“Opening of bids will immediately follow after the 10 a.m. deadline on 7 November,” the NTC said in a separate statement. “The opening of bids will be streamed live via DICT’s Facebook page.”

So far, at least 10 companies have bought selection documents from the NTC, namely China Telecom, Philippine Telegraph and Telephone, Now Telecom, Telenor ASA Group, Udenna Corp., LCS Group of Companies and TierOne, Mobitel Holdings GmbH, Converge ICT, AMA Telecommunications and an undisclosed bidder.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte, in his third State of the Nation Address in July, directed the DICT and the NTC to have a third telco before the end of 2018 to break the duopoly between PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.

He added the third telecommunications player in the Philippines should be “reliable, inexpensive and secure” while the terms of reference in the selection should be “fair, reasonable and comprehensive.”

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