Philippines News Agency reports that the House Committee on Legislative Franchises has formally ratified for plenary approval a measure extending the operating franchise of PLDT’s mobile unit Smart Communications for a further 25 years. The franchise was originally due to expire in 2017. House Bill 5942 allows Smart Communications to continue its business as a provider of electronic telecommunication services in the Philippines and abroad, said Marcelino R Teodoro (1st District, Marikina City), who chairs the committee. ‘This will also ensure the uninterrupted and improved delivery of its services to the Filipino people,’ he added.
Smart was granted authority to operate a cellular service in the country in 1993, since when it has been actively operating as a telecommunications provider for both domestic and international markets. Its mobile and fixed-wireless broadband networks currently cover 1,634 cities and municipalities across the country, by dint of the franchise that allows it ‘to construct, establish, install, maintain, lease, co-use, purchase and operate the corresponding transmitting and receiving stations, satellites, lines, systems, networks, international gateways, local exchanges and platforms as it may consider necessary and convenient or reasonable’.