PLDT to return CURE frequencies ‘at no cost’

7 Feb 2018

According to local press reports, Philippine giant PLDT Inc. has reportedly agreed to hand back to the government mobile spectrum held by its former Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprise (CURE) unit ‘at no cost’, frequencies that will soon be made available to the country’s new third operator. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque is quoted as saying that President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his displeasure that the government would have to find frequencies to assign to the new telecom services provider. Although PLDT had previously set out its stall to recoup up to PHP3 billion (USD58.3 million) as compensation for surrendering the frequencies, in a radio interview, Department of Information and Communications Technology Officer-in-Charge Eliseo Rio Jr said that PLDT chairman, president and CEO Manuel Pangilinan had agreed to return the former CURE frequencies to the government without recompense. PLDT surrendered CURE’s spectrum assets to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) back in 2012 as one of the conditions set by the government for its acquisition of rival mobile operator Digital (Sun Cellular) from the Gokongwei Group. The NTC had hoped to auction off the frequencies but its efforts failed amid problems relating to establishing and agreeing PLDT’s compensation for recovering the spectrum.