The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in the Philippines, working with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), yesterday (3 October) revealed the official timeline for the selection of the New Major Player (NMP), aka the so-called ‘third telco’ slot. The decision to publish comes roughly a fortnight after the two agencies published the final terms of reference (TOR) for selecting the NMP. In short, the government aims to complete the selection process between 6 October and 7 November, based on the following schedule:
• October 6 – Memorandum circular takes effect
• October 7 – Invitation to bid
• October 8 – Issuance of selection documents
• October 15 – Pre-selection information session and formal training
• October 22 – Last day of submission for clarification questions
• November 2 – Last day of response to clarify outstanding questions
• November 7 – Submission and opening of bids.
Interested bidders can begin buying bidding documents costing up to PHP1 million (USD18,430) after the official invitation to bid is published on 7 October 2018. Despite concerns on the relatively short timeline, DICT’s Eliseo Rio Jr. is confident there will be enough time to select a new telco player by November. ‘Considering that this has been going on since November last year, and [domestic] and foreign telcos have been doing due diligence since February … they can do it by 7 November, he said.