The Duterte administration’s push for a third telco player is expected to play a key role in attaining the objectives outlined at the United Nations’ (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) promoting sustainable development worldwide and inclusive growth among member nations.
The UN-SDG — of which the Daily Tribune is a media partner — target sustainable and resilient technological advancement in developing countries through enhanced financial, technological and technical support.
This developed as a provisional third telco player was named Wednesday in the Philippines — Mislatel, a consortium that groups China Telecom, Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics of Davao tycoon Dennis Uy — to compete against PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.
President Duterte had been vocal about the need to dismantle the telecommunications duopoly and improve broadband service in the country that, for the longest time, is rated one of the slowest in the world.
In a report by the Ookla household download index — an index that ranks consumer download speeds around the globe — the Philippines’ household download speed was clocked at 3.64 megabit per second (Mbps), the second lowest among Asian countries in the index.
The only Asian country with a slower download speed than the Philippines was Afghanistan which had a download speed of 2.52 Mbps. The report added the country’s broadband speed was also way below the global average of 23.3 Mbps.
In terms of upload speed, the Philippines ranked even lower — 178 out of 202 countries with average upload speed of 1.53 Mbps, significantly lower than the global average of 10.59 Mbps even as the cost per Mbps in the Philippines was also one of the most expensive, averaging $18.18 against the global average of $5.21.
That report — and the continuing duopoly of telecommunications giants Globe and PLDT in the Philippines — prompted the Duterte administration to seek a third telecommunications player to compete with the existing duopoly.
Through the sheer political will, the provisional third telco player is expected to shake the present communications duopoly and give the public a more stable and inexpensive communications service.
The entry of a third telco player also came on the heels of the statement of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the recent Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.