Filipino govt threatens to recall unused spectrum for third, or even fourth, telco

23 Feb 2017

The government of the Philippines has issued a stark warning that it could look to reclaim unused radiofrequency spectrum, which it says is enough to support a third or even fourth telecoms operator. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has published an updated list of all allocated spectrum assets, saying that its publication is intended to identify idle frequencies that could be reassigned to attract other players into the market. ‘We published it, it’s a warning … frequencies – assigned, not used, not paid, if it’s in the warehouse, we’ll take it back, we’ll give them a chance to air their side if they don’t have a valid reason, we’ll take them back, recall,’ said DICT secretary Rodolfo A Salalima at a press briefing. ‘If you’ve been holding it for an unreasonable time, or you are holding it without using it, or you are using it without paying for it, then we’ll take it back, but we have recall procedures,’ he added.

In the document, industry regulator the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) revealed that the aforementioned dormant spectrum is being held by: Sears Telecoms (410MHz); Teodoro N Romasanta Inc. (TNRI) and Twilight (700MHz); RBC, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Uniden Philippines, Inc., Liberty Broadcasting Network Inc. (LBNI), Worldwide Comms Inc., (800MHz); Bayantel (2500MHz); Easy Call Communications Philippines Inc., AZ Comm, Multimedia Telephony Inc., Broadband Everywhere Corp; and Radio Marine Network Inc. (3.4GHz); and TN Rosanna and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) (10GHz). In addition, the DICT has pointed out that a number of these firms – specifically Sears, MMDA, TNRI, Trilight, RBC, Uniden, LBNI and Worldwide Comms – have unpaid spectrum user fees.