The Third Telco can start their operations by mid-2019
DICT has been firm: barring any court action, they will be announcing the “provisional” Third Telco by November 7 as promised.
During the Senate Committee Hearing on the search for the Third Telco, DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said that they “are on track in fulfilling President Duterte’s desired timeline, which is to have NMP (new major player) by November this year.”
Rio refers to the court decision filed by NOW Telecom, which sued NTC for allegedly turning the bidding process into a money-making scheme. Asked about NOW Telecom’s allegations, Rio insists that the fees were inserted to “ensure that we will be able to attract participant while ensuring that the winner will be able to withstand intensive competition against the incumbent telco.”
The winning telco can have initial subscribers by mid-2019, but must be able to provide the names of the barangays where they plan to provide coverage for the next five years.
Recently, the Villar-owned Streamtech Systems Technologies Incorporated have expressed their interest to become the country’s third telco player, though the company requested to remain anonymous. As of this writing, there are eight foreign telcos that expressed their interest in becoming the country’s third telco player.