The Manila Times reports that the Philippines’ telecoms watchdog, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), plans to conduct an audit of the country’s telecoms infrastructure amid rising complaints that operators are failing to provide satisfactory broadband services. The paper writes that NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba has sent letters to the respective telcos requesting information about their infrastructure rollout, particularly where it concerns third-generation (3G) mobile networks.
The terms of an NTC-published circular on 3G network rollouts requires that licensees cover at least 80% of provincial capitals towns and 80% of the nation’s ‘chartered cities’ within five years. In 2006 the regulator awarded 3G frequencies to Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprises (CURE) and Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Sun Cellular). However, concerns exist about their success rates to date in meeting those targets. ‘We will conduct an infrastructure audit to see if they have enough capacity to serve their subscribers,’ Cordoba is quoted as saying after a public hearing on broadband segment issues.