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NTC’s ‘use it or lose it’ warning to operators

4 Feb 2009

The telecoms regulator in the Philippines, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), is considering plans to recall frequencies that are currently not being used by telecoms companies. In a thinly-veiled warning to telcos, the watchdog said it had completed an audit of existing spectrum allocations in the country and was issuing separate orders to Smart Communications, Bell Telecom, Textron Corp., Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Philippine Communications Satellite Corp (Philcomsat) and EasyCall Communications Philippines, asking them to explain why their assigned frequencies should not be recalled for non-usage. Local newspaper the Business Mirror reports that Smart, for example, was assigned bandwidth in the 279MHz-281MHz band in October 1996, but had failed to use it. BellTel’s assigned frequency within the 1710MHz-1720MHz and 1805MHz-1815MHz bands have also been earmarked, after the NTC concluded it has not been using the bandwidth since it was awarded it on 24 September 1998. Further orders have been issued to Textron Corp, which is owned by the Delgado family who used to own Isla Communications. Textron was assigned a frequency within the 3400MHz-3600MHz band in January 2001, but is not operating in this bandwidth. Similarly, the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is not using the 279MHz-281MHz bandwidth it was assigned in October 1996, and the frequencies of Philcomsat (3400MHz-3600MHz) and EasyCall (1710MHz-1720MHz/1805MHz-1815MHz) are also in danger of being revoked.

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