Philippines invites Chinese firms to become country’s third telecom player

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked China to invest in the Philippines’ telecommunication industry and to set up a subsidiary that would become the nation’s third telecom service provider, a move to break up the duopoly of PLDT and Globe Telecom and shape up competition.

So far, the country’s two main telecom firms effectively control a market worth about $5.3 billion by annual revenue. The constitution’s 40-per cent cap on foreign ownership of domestic telecom companies has kept interest from multinational firms at bay in the market of over 100 million people, where data and voice services rank among Asia-Pacific’s slowest and customers suffer from frequent interruptions.

Chinese mega telecoms China Mobile and China Telecom, as well as Datang Telecom, have already signaled interest in partnering with Philippine firms to set up a third telecom and Internet provider. On the domestic side, either state-owned National Transmission Corporation or privately-held Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corporation could emerge as potential partner.

“The telecom duopoly in the Philippines is about to end with the entry of China to operate the third telecom carrier,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said. Asked why Duterte made the offer to China, the spokesman pointed out that China “has the capital and technology to provide efficient telecom services.”

“So the good news is, consumers can look forward now to better telecommunications, not just in terms of cellular technology, but also in terms of Internet speed as well as access.” Roque said.

The Philippine government is now waiting for Chinese telecom companies to submit their proposals, but they will still have to comply with the 40-per-cent ownership provision.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked China to invest in the Philippines’ telecommunication industry and to set up a subsidiary that would become the nation’s third telecom service provider, a move to break up the duopoly of PLDT and Globe Telecom and shape up competition.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has asked China to invest in the Philippines’ telecommunication industry and to set up a subsidiary that would become the nation’s third telecom service provider, a move to break up the duopoly of PLDT and Globe Telecom and shape up competition.

So far, the country’s two main telecom firms effectively control a market worth about $5.3 billion by annual revenue. The constitution’s 40-per cent cap on foreign ownership of domestic telecom companies has kept interest from multinational firms at bay in the market of over 100 million people, where data and voice services rank among Asia-Pacific’s slowest and customers suffer from frequent interruptions.

Chinese mega telecoms China Mobile and China Telecom, as well as Datang Telecom, have already signaled interest in partnering with Philippine firms to set up a third telecom and Internet provider. On the domestic side, either state-owned National Transmission Corporation or privately-held Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corporation could emerge as potential partner.

“The telecom duopoly in the Philippines is about to end with the entry of China to operate the third telecom carrier,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said. Asked why Duterte made the offer to China, the spokesman pointed out that China “has the capital and technology to provide efficient telecom services.”

“So the good news is, consumers can look forward now to better telecommunications, not just in terms of cellular technology, but also in terms of Internet speed as well as access.” Roque said.

The Philippine government is now waiting for Chinese telecom companies to submit their proposals, but they will still have to comply with the 40-per-cent ownership provision.

 

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