5 companies acquire 3rd telco bid documents
Norway’s largest telco, two businessmen and an Ilocos politician are among those that acquired bid documents yesterday as the government formally opened the selection process for its third telco initiative.
NTC Gamaliel Cordoba told reporters in a press conference that at least five companies bought bid documents.
He said these included businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp., Telenor Group, NOW Corp. of businessman Mel Velarde and a venture between Ilocos politician Luis Chavit Singson’s LCS Group of Companies and TierOne Consortium.
Another group acquired bid documents but its representative asked that it not be identified.
Cordoba said the interest was “surprising.” He added that more were expected to participate in the coming days.
The NTC is giving bidders about a month to prepare their offers. They can submit their bids in the NTC Central office from Nov. 5 to Nov. 7 this year.
“We are very confident that we will fulfill the President’s directive on the entry of a new major player in the Philippine telecommunications market,” Cordoba said.
Several other potential participants reached by the Inquirer said they were evaluating the selection documents, which were made available on the NTC website yesterday.
TierOne and LSC Group said in a joint statement on Monday that they were intending to bring “world-class telecommunications services across the archipelago.”
“The TierOne Consortium assures the Filipino people, especially those in areas outside the key cities of the country, that they will no longer be treated like second-class citizens when it comes to telco services,” Singson said.
The new major telco player will be chosen based on the so-called highest committed level of service model. The three major elements to be scored are population coverage, internet speed and investment over the five-year commitment period.
The goal of the selection process is to determine which company or consortium will receive a set of mobile frequencies.
It can use these to provide voice calls, text messaging and mobile internet, putting it in direct competition with the services offered by the existing duopoly of PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.
Eliseo Rio Jr., acting secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, said that under the current timeline, the new major telco player would be known by November 2018.
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