3rd telco may have its first subscribers by 2019 — NTC, DICT execs
If everything goes according to the schedule, the third and new telecommunications player in the country may have its first subscribers by next year, government officials said at a Senate hearing on Monday.
The heads of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) gave this estimate during the hearing of the Senate committee on public services.
It was Senator Grace Poe, chair of the committee, who first asked when the third telco would become operational.
NTC chairperson Gamaliel Cordoba first explained that by November 7, the country would have a “provisional” new major telecommunications player.
The telco then, he said, would be given 90 days to submit all the documentary requirements.
“By February meron na tayong bagong telco?” asked Poe.
“November, you honor, we would have the provisional NMP (new major player) based dun sa bid nila…” Cordoba said.
“If everything goes according to your forecast, your schedule —90 days to submit all the requirements, etc., when will they be operational? How soon?” Poe asked again.
“We will give the licenses by February of next year,” the NTC chief said.
But Senator Francis Escudero reminded that in the terms of reference for the selection of a new telco player, there is still a one-year roll-out after the license was issued to the company.
“…So after one year dun pa lang siguro magkaka-signal at pwede kang tumawag,” Escudero pointed out.
DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio agreed with Escudero’s statement.
Rio explained that, “On the first year of their commitment period, that is where they are going to roll out dun sa kanilang commitment.”
“But in that rollout, give or take mga six months or nine months they could have their first subscribers,” he further said.
Asked by Escudero and Poe if it would be next year, the DICT chief answered yes. /je
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