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PLDT wants to see they’re light; objects to Globe’s Sun request

2 Jun 2011

Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) has submitted a filing to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), opposing rival telco Globe Telecom’s move to gain control of the 3G spectrum held by Digitel Mobile (Sun Cellular). The Manila Times reports PLDT as claiming that Globe is not entitled to the additional frequencies arising from the planned purchase of Sun Cellular’s parent, Digital Telecommunications (Digitel), by PLDT. Globe moved to acquire the spectrum in the wake of PLDT’s takeover announcement, but PLDT counters: ‘To summarily divest or diminish PLDT of its 3G frequency is not only a blatant deprivation of its property without due process/just compensation but also of the Honourable Commission’s very own rules on frequency allocation.’

PLDT argues that not only will Digitel remain a separate entity post-acquisition, but that if anything, it will need more, not less, spectrum. Earlier this month CommsUpdate reported PLDT defiantly claiming that it is more efficient at utilising its spectrum than Globe and optimisation is currently running at 406,000 subscribers per megahertz, compared with 303,000 for Globe. With takeover target Sun Cellular running at 330,000 users per MHz, PLDT’s head of regulatory affairs Ray Espinosa has said that Globe’s opposition to its takeover plan stems directly from its desire to get its hands on more spectrum. He claimed at the time that Globe is sidestepping its own issues with efficiency in an effort to force PLDT to make concessions over how much frequency it holds. For its part, Globe’s legal counsel Rodolfo Salalima restated the argument that the NTC’s role is to balance the frequencies held by rival operators and at the same time rationalise the distribution of said frequencies.

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