The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is scheduled to release next week the final terms of reference (TOR) for the bidding of the third-generation (3G) wireless frequency license that was let go by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) group last year.
NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said the issuance of the TOR would pave the way for the long-awaited bidding for the coveted frequency, which would allow phone companies to offer high-speed Internet services across the country.
“We are just settling some items. Most likely, we can issue the same next week,” Cordoba said in a text message to reporters.
Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises (Cure), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smart Communications, used to hold the frequency licensed that would be auctioned off.
PLDT earlier set a cost-recovery fee (CRF) of P2.12 billion for the Cure frequency, covering the costs involved in migrating CURE subscribers into the Smart network, which the group was forced to do before letting go of the license.
The PLDT group was forced by the NTC to give up the 3G license when it acquired Digitel Telecommunications Philippines Inc., operator of Sun Cellular.
This came amid monopoly concerns raised by PLDT’s chief rival, Ayala-led Globe Telecom. Had PLDT kept the Cure frequency, it would have held three of four 3G licenses in the country.
Globe Telecom, which has one 3G license of its own, said it would bid for the Cure frequency. Industry newcomer, Liberty Telecom Holdings and Express Telecommunications Co. Inc. of the San Miguel group, is also planning to bid for the frequency.