PH to match Korea’s net speed in 18 months

Sun.Star Cebu - - OPINION - TWIT­TER: @sun­starcebu FACE­BOOK: /sun­starcebu CAM­POS (MAKATI CITY) LUIS N.

PLDT, Globe & Mis­la­tel are seen spend­ing a com­bined P180 bil­lion yearly to build up the coun­try’s tele­coms in­fra­struc­ture.

Within 18 months, Filipinos will likely en­joy an av­er­age Internet con­nec­tion speed of at least 25 Megabits per sec­ond (Mbps) on their mo­bile phones, or up to five times the cur­rent speed, Makati City Rep. Luis Cam­pos Jr. said over the week­end.

“Com­pe­ti­tion can cre­ate won­ders. We should soon be where South Korea is now in terms of av­er­age mo­bile Internet con­nec­tion speed, with the Mis­la­tel con­sor­tium in play,” Cam­pos, a deputy mi­nor­ity leader, said.

The two dom­i­nant telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions play­ers – PLDT Inc. and Globe Tele­com Inc. – would be driven to de­liver faster con­nec­tions to ag­gres­sively de­fend their mar­ket shares even be­fore Mis­la­tel ac­tu­ally starts of­fer­ing its own Internet ser­vices, Cam­pos said.

“We reckon that PLDT and Globe may each have to spend up to P65 bil­lion ev­ery year start­ing 2019 to stay ahead and quickly build up their ca­pac­i­ties to sup­ply su­pe­rior Internet con­nec­tions,” Cam­pos said.

“To in­clude Mis­la­tel’s pledge to in­vest at least P50 bil­lion yearly to put up its own net­work, we are thus eas­ily look­ing at up to P180 bil­lion in com­bined an­nual cap­i­tal spend­ing from the three play­ers to ad­vance the na­tion’s telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­fra­struc­ture,” Cam­pos said.

In a re­search note, on­line stock­bro­ker COL Fi­nan­cial Group Inc. said the Mis­la­tel con­sor­tium “has the fi­nan­cial mus­cle to ex­e­cute its plan and will most likely en­gage in a price war (with PLDT and Globe) to grab mar­ket share.”

“Deep pock­ets” would en­able Mis­la­tel “to op­er­ate at a loss for a long pe­riod,” COL said, adding that the con­sor­tium’s for­eign part­ner, China Tele­com Corp., “gen­er­ated the equiv­a­lent of P146 bil­lion in prof­its in 2017.”

“Once Mis­la­tel starts of­fer­ing its ser­vices in Metro Manila, con­sumers could end up shift­ing sub­scrip­tions ev­ery now and then, de­pend­ing on which of the three play­ers pro­vides the best Internet con­nec­tion in terms of speed and price,” Cam­pos said.

Mis­la­tel has com­mit­ted to in­vest an ag­gre­gate of P257 bil­lion be­tween 2019 to 2023, and to de­liver a min­i­mum av­er­age Internet con­nec­tion speed of 27 Mbps in its first year of op­er­a­tion and 55 Mbps by the fifth year.--REP.

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