Supreme Court upholds reallocation of VOM frequencies to Smart

5 Jul 2012

Business World Online reports that The Supreme Court in the Philippines has upheld a decision by telecoms watchdog the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to reallocate radio frequencies held by VOM Broadcasting Corp to Smart Communications – the mobile arm of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) – in 2005. In the decision, published on 25 April, the Court denied a petition for reconsideration from VOM ‘with finality’, relating to a December 2011 resolution, noting that the motion lacked a ‘compelling reason nor any substantial argument to warrant modification of this court’s resolution.’

Previously, VOM Broadcasting Corp was granted a temporary 18-month permit to build and operate a multipoint multichannel distribution system (MMDS) in the regions of Metro Manila, Bulacan and Region IV-A or provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon. However, it failed to deploy its networks and services before the provisional licence expired on 15 October 2003. The NTC subsequently reallocated the 20MHz of bandwidth held by VOM to Smart, arguing that VOM had proved it had ‘no capacity to offer telecommunications services’. In response, VOM Broadcasting countered that its rollout had been derailed by issues in acquiring the necessary MMDS transmitter equipment.