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TBGI, partner bringing satellite equipment into Clark

04:45 AM September 16, 2019

Information technology firm Transpacific Broadband Group Int’l. Inc. (TBGI) has teamed up with American co-locators at the Clark Special Economic Zone to bring in state-of-the-art satellite equipment facility that would help boost data connectivity in the country.

This is on top of TBGI’s new project with a Chinese state-owned enterprise ZPI to build 3,000 cellular towers and work closely with the third telecom player, TBGI chair and president Arsenio NG said in a recent interview with Inquirer.

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“These are two interesting things for TBGI—the cellular towers and all the satellite gizmo that’s coming in. The last time I brought in new equipment was about six to seven years ago,” Ng said.

Ng said TBGI was preparing to accept the shipment for the new satellite equipment in Subic port for installation in the company’s earth station in Clark.

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TBGI has an existing lease agreement to build, maintain and manage a satellite earth station in Clark. It owns and operates transmitter and power generators at the 1.1-hectare area of former US Air Force satellite communication facility.

An earth station is a collection of equipment installed on the surface of the planet that enables communications over one or more satellites.

Given that TBGI was the only satellite solutions group left with a congressional franchise and an earth station license, Ng said the company had received a lot of interest from foreign groups to boost its backbone for satellite solutions.

He said this could only mean that “a lot of development will commence on remote places not easily accessible by cellular service.”

Ng said the foreign partners would bring in the equipment for the new satellite facility to the earth station in Clark.

“I think once they put it up there, TBGI will look brand new with all the new gizmo,” he said.

TBGI holds a 25-year congressional telecom franchise for commercial telecommunications operations under Republic Act No. 8657, which the legislative body passed into law in 1998. It has a few years to go for this franchise and Ng said TBGI had already filed for the extension of the franchise for another 25 years.

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On the rollout of the cellular towers, Ng said the Chinese counterparts of the third telco, referring to Dito Telecommunity which is a partnership between Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecom, had asked TBGI to work closely with this consortium.

“We have already submitted all the exact sites and locations already. We’re just awaiting for the final schedule, which is up to the principal,” he said.

Although the third telco short has been awarded, Ng still sees a lot of opportunities for other telecom players with congressional franchise.

“At the end of the day, they still need additional enablers like us,” he said.

“I think the landscape is exciting. Before, it was perceived as a duopoly. Then President Duterte breaks it again. Now if you look at it, it opens up a lot of new venues.” —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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TAGS: Business, Clark, Transpacific Broadband Group Int’l. Inc. (TBGI)
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