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NTC says 3G frequency auction must take place now

9 Apr 2010

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of the Philippines says the award of the country’s final 3G frequency spectrum should take place immediately before the technology is overtaken by a much faster one. Local newspaper the Business Mirror quotes portions of the watchdog’s 152-page appeal filed yesterday, in which it says there is an exigent need for it ‘to implement its statutory mandate before the 3G technology is overtaken by better, faster standards. If it is not awarded immediately to a service provider who will use it efficiently and effectively then this renders the same obsolete.’ The NTC cites the likes of Filipino telco Liberty Telecoms which is already rolling out 4G services through its Wi-tribe brand.

According to TeleGeography’s 4G research service, the number one WiMAX operator in the Philippines by subscribers is Globe Telecom, with a subscriber base of 715,000 as at 31 December 2009, and a WiMAX network covering 190 cities and towns as of last month. Liberty Telecoms, meanwhile, announced at the end of March 2010 that it has signed up 1,000 subscribers to its pre-commercial WiMAX trials, with full commercial launch set to follow.

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