Now Telecom to appeal court ruling on frequency assignment | Inquirer Business

Now Telecom to appeal court ruling on frequency assignment

/ 02:14 AM October 06, 2023

MANILA  -Businessman Mel Velarde’s Now Telecom said it planned to appeal a court decision dismissing its petition for the automatic allocation of coveted mobile frequencies from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

The Court of Appeals (CA), in a 16-page decision dated Sept. 28, dismissed Now Telecom’s plea as it refrained from “intervening in the discretionary functions and prerogatives of the Executive Department.”

This was a blow to Now Telecom’s ambitions to compete with major telcos such as Smart, Globe Telecom and DITO Telecommunity.


Now Corp., the listed parent firm of Now Telecom, said in a stock exchange filing on Thursday they had just received a copy of the appellate court decision.


“Now Telecom disagrees with the decision and shall file a motion for reconsideration,” read the disclosure from Now Corp., which is not a party to the case.

Legal limbo

In arguing for the radio frequencies—which are needed before Now Telecom can roll out mobile telecommunication services—the company cited the automatic approval provision of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta) under Republic Act No. 11032, otherwise known as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018.

This was despite the NTC previously disqualifying Now Telecom for noncompliance with legal requirements.

“Considering that Now Telecom failed to establish that it has a clear legal right over the concomitant frequencies, this Court is powerless to grant the remedy prayed for in the petition,” the CA said in its ruling.

It added that Now Telecom’s right to be granted frequencies was “still in legal limbo” since Arta reversed a previous ruling for the company to be assigned the spectrum.

The said frequencies in dispute were in the 1970 megahertz (MHz) to 1980 MHz paired with 2160 MHz to 2170 MHz and 3.6 gigahertz (GHz) to 3.8 GHz ranges.

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TAGS: frequencies, Mobile, Now Telecom

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