The Philippine Star

DICT sets minimum bid for 3rd telco at P36.58 B


The Department of Informatio­n and Communicat­ions Technology (DICT) has released draft rules using auction as the mode for selection of the third telco player with the minimum bid price set at P36.58 billion.

Under the draft rules for the auction, the group which offers the highest amount of bid for five years shall be selected as the new major player.

“The minimum amount of bid shall be P36.58 billion,” the draft said.

While a minimum bid price has been set, the DICT said the amount is not final and could still change.

The amount which is based on the spectrum user fees being paid by existing telcos, does not consider the inputs or recommenda­tions of experts from the Internatio­nal Telecommun­ication Union and best practices from other countries.

DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said the draft rules for the auction would be compared to the other draft released earlier this week.

The draft released earlier this week uses the highest committed level of service formula which sets annual minimum levels for each criteria an interested party has to meet over a five-year period.

In particular, the interested party should have 30 percent for national population coverage, 5 Mbps for the minimum average broadband speed, and P40 billion for the capital and operationa­l expenditur­e per year.

For both draft rules, an interested party should hold congressio­nal franchise, not related to any dominant telco player, have no outstandin­g liabilitie­s, have a paid capital of at least P10 billion, and have experience in providing telco service in the last five years.

Frequencie­s to be assigned to the new telco player are the following: 700 Megahertz (MHz), 2100 MHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz.

In the event the pending case on the 2100 MHz fre- quency awarded to Bayan Telecommun­ications Inc. is resolved, the National Telecommun­ications Commission will also assign the spectrum to the new telco player.

President Duterte wanted a new telco player to start operations within the first quarter of the year to compete with incumbents to provide customers with more options and allow them to experience better services.

The process has been delayed as the government has yet to issue final rules for the selection process.

A public forum will be held on Friday to discuss which of the two draft rules will be more effective for the selection process.

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