ARTA dismisses NTC’s motion and approves automatic permit for NOW Telecom

7 Apr 2022

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) of the Philippines has granted its approval for NOW Telecom’s application for an automatic extension of its mobile licence permits, paving the way for it to offer mobile broadband services across the country.

Local press reports note that on 31 March 2022 ARTA issued a resolution throwing out a motion filed for reconsideration by the industry regulator, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), and declared NOW Telecom’s application for cellular mobile telephone system (CMTS) provisional authority as complete. The operator’s efforts to secure a toehold in the mobile broadband market have been hindered for more than a decade, but the provisional authority covers rights to use 220MHz of spectrum ranging from 1970MHz-1980MHz, paired with 2160MHz to 2170MHz and 3.6GHz to 3.8GHz, including 5G frequencies for mobile and fixed wireless broadband. An order of automatic approval was issued by ARTA on 1 March 2021. ‘There being neither legal basis nor cogent reason to reverse its disposition through omnibus order dated Jan. 31, 2022, the authority resolves to deny the NTC’s motion for reconsideration dated Feb. 14, 2022,’ ARTA was cited as saying.