Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio, Jr has said that the country’s long awaited ‘third telco’ should be chosen based on its highest committed level of service (HCLoS), amid leaked reports he would resign if that is not the case. The DICT acting Secretary confirmed that ‘following a pivotal stakeholders’ consultation, the [DICT] will convene the members of the Oversight Committee on Friday 20th July 2018, to set the selection process of a new major player in the public telecommunications market in motion.’ Rio did note, however, that he did not expect his remarks over a possible resignation to be publicised. ‘I will be useless if I implement something that I know will fail. If my heart is not on it, what is my use? If I cannot do my job, then might as well resign and then somebody can do it better than me,’ he told DZMM.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month Eliseo Rio, Jr said that the naming of the much anticipated ‘New Major Player’ (NMP) could take place by the end of September or early October this year, barring unforeseen setbacks. DICT published its draft terms of reference (TOR) for the selection of the NMP to challenge dominant players PLDT and Globe Telecom on 26 June. The selection process has been delayed for months – an original March 2018 deadline proved unrealistic – but DICT has now released details on how it plans to assign valuable 3G, 4G and potential 5G mobile frequencies to allow a newcomer to challenge the status quo. Pursuant to the above, DICT held public consultations on 6 July – a process that seemingly concluded that of those that expressed an interest in the selection process, 75% prefer a points-based allocation system, using the HCLoS method. Only 8% of potential bidders preferred the second set of draft rules which entailed auctioning the frequencies with a minimum bid of PHP36.58 billion (USD583.4 million).