The Philippines’ industry watchdog the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has given its assent to a network sharing deal between Ayala-backed Globe Telecom and multimedia behemoth ABS-CBN Corp to share network infrastructure in the country. In an interview with The Philippine Star, the deputy commissioner of the NTC, Edgardo Cabarios, confirmed that the agency has approved the plan, including the co-use of number blocks by Globe’s Innove Communications Inc and ABS-CBN Convergence Inc. Meanwhile in a letter, NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said that both parties involved must adhere to the required levels of quality of service and performance standards, as part of the sharing deal. ‘The commission acknowledges the network sharing agreement entered into by your company, Globe and ABS-CBN Convergence subject to the condition that the quality of service and service performance shall not be adversely affected and the prescribed quality of service and service performance standards are strictly observed and complied,’ the NTC official said in a letter to Innove Communications’ president Gil Genio.
Last month, TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate reported that ABS-CBN Corp was stepping up efforts to become the country’s ‘third player’ in the telecoms industry, having signed a groundbreaking network sharing agreement with Filipino carrier Globe Telecom. Under the plan the media conglomerate turned telco intends to launch an ABS-CBN branded mobile SIM that will provide users with ‘the same telco services plus exclusive content from the company’. In short, people buying the new ABS-CBN mobile SIM will be able to make voice calls, send SMS and surf the web like any other consumer on a telco platform, but with the added bonus of having access to exclusive ABS-CBN content. The newcomer will be buying capacity from Globe Telecom under the five-year agreement; it intends to invest between PHP2 billion and PHP3 billion (USD47 million and USD71 million) in the next three years in the new venture. Initially the new ABS-CBN SIM will be bundled with mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, and will soon be made available in ABS-CBN stores before the end of this year.