DICT hints at 5G auction plans amid interest from PLDT/Globe

12 Jun 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in the Philippines may auction off fifth-generation mobile frequencies in the medium term, The Manila Times quotes Acting Information Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr as saying. DICT is reacting to recent announcements by the country’s two main operators – PLDT Inc and Globe Telecom – that they are both ready to embrace 5G technology. Rio told reporters that the agency will work on providing the frequencies available for commercial rollout on an equitable basis, and hinted at a bidding process in which ‘the highest bidder will get more bandwidth than the second and third’. However, the DICT official went on to point out that while he welcomed the telcos’ recent public commitment to the next generation technology, any decision to auction frequencies is unlikely before the release of comprehensive 5G standards from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). ‘If there’s no standard, you might need to produce handsets for your system. That would be expensive. If there is a standard frequency for 5G … then manufacturers can mass-produce handsets,’ he explained.