Court of Appeals stops NTC’s planned reallocation of BWA spectrum

31 Jul 2012

The Business Mirror writes that the Court of Appeals in the Philippines has stopped the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) from implementing a 2005 memorandum circular (MC), which was designed to reallocate frequency bandwidth suitable for broadband wireless access (BWA) use. In a 16-page ruling, the court’s ninth division ‘reversed and set aside’ two orders (from December 2010 and March 2011), issued by the regional court of Quezon City against broadcasting firm Atlacom Wireless Systems. The broadcaster’s frequencies in the 2572MHz-2578MHz, 2578MHz-2584MHz, 2584MHz-2590MHz and 2590MHz-2596MHz bands were among those recalled by the NTC when it issued the 2005 MC. Atlacom had been using these frequencies to provide MMDS services for wireless cable TV in Metro Manila.

As such, the NTC reallocated the following bands for BWA for fixed, nomadic and mobile networks: 450MHz-470MHz, 1900MHz-1910MHz, 1980MHz-1990MHz, 2400MHz-2483MHz, 2500MHz-2700MHz, 3400MHz-3600MHz, 5150MHz-5350MHz, 5470MHz-5859MHz and 10150MHz-10650MHz. The watchdog subsequently denied Atlacom’s petition (December 2008) for an extension of its provisional authority stripping it of its frequencies. Atlacom filed a protest and although the local court initially denied its petition, the Court of Appeals has now ruled that the regional court ‘committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the orders’.