Australian telecoms giant Telstra has confirmed that it has held negotiations with Philippines-based conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC) regarding a mobile joint venture (JV) in the south-east Asian country. In a filing with the Australian Securities Exchange, Telstra stated: ‘We note recent speculation concerning Telstra considering an investment in a wireless JV in the Philippines with San Miguel, and that financing is being sought in relation to that JV. We are in discussions in relation to these matters. However, no agreements have been reached in relation to these matters and there is no certainty that this will occur.’ Meanwhile, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, SMC has already started hiring telecoms staff, while Telstra is in the process of sourcing employees with local knowledge.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Vega Telecom – a 100% owned SMC subsidiary – last month acquired a 100% stake in WiMAX operator Liberty Telecoms by purchasing the outstanding shares from its partners Qtel West Bay (part of Ooredoo Group), Wi-Tribe Asia and White Dawn Solution. Although Liberty utilised its 40MHz block of 2500MHz spectrum for its WiMAX network, it has been suggested that Telstra is keen to use the company’s almost 100MHz block of 700MHz spectrum to deploy 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology; the Australian company switched on its ‘4GX’-branded 700MHz 4G network in November 2014.