NTC to issue 3G licences before end-year

14 Dec 2005

Filipino regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has said it expects to begin issuing 3G licences to operators before the end of December, despite requests from incumbent cellcos to put the process on hold while it considers a petition to deny applications from non-telcos. Operators looking to gain a 3G concession are existing cellcos Smart, Globe, Digital Mobile Philippines and Bayantel, as well as newcomers Next Mobile, Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprises and Philippine Multi Media System. Winners will be expected to have infrastructure in place by 2007 and launch commercial 3G services the following year. The NTC has said it will weigh up the points made in the petition filed by the existing cellcos against the merits of the 3G applications of new players.