The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of the Philippines will this week release the final terms of reference (TOR) for the auctioning off of the third-generation (3G) mobile licence that was relinquished by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) last year, the Philippine Daily Inquirer writes. The concession relates to PLDT subsidiary Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises (CURE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Smart Communications, which was handed back as a condition of the parent group’s takeover of fellow operator Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Digitel) in 2011, operator of the Sun Cellular brand.
NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba says that the publication of the TOR for the 3G licence will ‘pave the way for the long-awaited bidding for the coveted frequency, which would allow phone companies to offer high speed internet services across the country’. However, this is not the first time that the NTC has announced the imminent launch of the auction. On 20 November 2012 TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported Cordoba as saying that the planned re-auction of the 10MHz block of 3G frequencies relinquished by CURE were all but finalised, and that the full details for the tender could be published ‘maybe in the first week of December’.