The Chinese firm has partnered with a local outfit
There’s yet another player vying to become a third telco in the Philippines. Chinese telco equipment and data provider ZTE corp, along with four other members in a consortium is teaming up with TierOne Comm International, a Davao-based telco, to connect the country’s islands through microcell towers that will provide mobile internet to the Filipinos.
“About 60 percent of the Philippines has no telecommunications whatsoever, with (the country) being mentioned in press reports as second worst in Asia. That should not be the case,” Jonathon Bentley-Stevens, TierOne board chair told the Inquirer.
ZTE is joined in the consortium by Nokia and New Hampshire-based Parallel Wireless.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) would be the first site of the project’s rollout this month, with the ARMM’s Board Of Investments approving TierOne’s Php 3-billion telecommunications investment in the region.
The company will be installing high-speed 100mbps internet connections throughout the region, starting with the ARMM government compound in Cotabato city.
After that, the company aims to cover the entire country before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term in 2022.
ZTE is no stranger to controversy though, as the company was embroiled in the Philippine National Broadband Network scandal which involved allegations of corruption in the awarding of the $329 million contract to the company in 2007.
Because of the controversy, then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo cancelled the NBN-ZTE deal on the same year.