The Manila Standard writes that Bangladeshi operator Grameenphone (GP), a joint venture (JV) of Telenor Group of Norway (55.8%) and Bangladesh-based Grameen Telecom Corp (34.2%), is interested in taking part in the bidding for the New Major Player (NMP) in the Philippines, which it is hoped will finally break the dominance of telecoms duopoly PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom. The paper cites GP deputy director Shanshil Ahmed Shibly as saying ‘hopefully we will participate,’ and that discussions with a potential local partner were ongoing. ‘I think [the Philippines] a good market. We [Telenor Group] are already doing very good business in Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Myanmar also, where we are close to number one [in the market]. The market [in the Philippines] also has very good potential, given the number of younger customers there,’ he said.
GP is currently the largest mobile phone operator in Bangladesh with over 69 million subscribers at end-June 2018 and a roughly 46% subscriber market share. It joins China Telecom, South Korea’s LG Uplus, KDDI of Japan, Vietnam’s Viettel Group, AT&T and parent group Telenor amongst those to have already informed the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of their interest in participating. Local telcos potentially in the frame include Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Co (PT&T), NOW Telecom, Converge ICT Solutions, Easycall Communications Philippines and a group led by the businessman Dennis Uy. The submission and opening of the bids is set for 5 November 2018.