ABS-CBN News reports that the government of the Philippines has officially moved the deadline for bid submissions for the third telco slot to 24 May 2018 – pushing back its original target date by nearly two months. Officials confirmed the decision today (27 February), noting that following a public consultation the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) had also opted to scrap its first draft guidelines for selecting the third telco. While the DICT did not elaborate on the decision, acting chief of the DICT, Eliseo Rio Jr, did say that the new draft would focus on ‘the quality and scope of the service that the challenger to PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom will provide’. Rio said he hoped the new terms of reference would be published ‘next week’.
The DICT has reportedly outlined the following 3G, 4G and potential 5G frequencies in its guidelines: 700MHz band (20MHz), 850MHz (10MHz), 2100MHz (40MHz – portions of which are tied up in the Supreme Court), 2010MHz (15MHz), 2.5GHz (20MHz), 3.3GHz (100MHz), 3.5GHz (40MHz) and 10.5GHz (182MHz). It notes too that all 2G-suitable frequencies have been exhausted and are all held by and being used, by PLDT and Globe. The Department wants the third telco to launch commercial services within twelve months of receiving its frequencies and cover at least 80% of provincial capital cities, towns, and chartered cities within five years of receiving its award. A number of groups are interested in bidding, including Now Corp’s NOW Telecom, Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp (PT&T), Converge ICT Solutions Inc. and G.Telecoms.