Consortium of international telcos positions as third player in PH
By Lilian Mellejor
DAVAO CITY (Philippines News Agency) – A consortium of international telecommunication firms is positioning as the third player in the Philippines carrying the brand name Dot Mobile.
The consortium, composed of Nokia, Millawave and TierOne International, as the lead international telco, has already submitted a letter of intent to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) In Manila on March 27.
Jonathon Bentley Stevens, chair of TierOne, said his firm has been in the Philippines since 1999. Aside from Nokia and Millawave, TierOne has also global partners.
Stevens said TierOne, Nokia, and Millawave formed a consortium to be strong enough to break the existing duopoly. The consortium, Stevens said, has a parallel wireless worth USD5 billion.
“We want to take the project and roll out throughout the Philippines,” Stevens said on Wednesday. TierOne is a Davao-based telecommunications network and has already started a project in Mindanao, particularly in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Last March, Stevens said, TierOne put up its first tower in a school in a remote area in Cotabato. It is targeting to put up five towers in ARMM as its goal of connecting rural areas. It is aiming to connect underserved areas using 100 mbps high-speed wireless system.
He said his company is mapping 52 buildings in five towns to solve slow or zero connectivity by putting high-speed internet but lower by 20 percent in terms of charges compared to rates by the leading telecom firm.
TierOne is also connecting schools which are the recipient of 54 computer units donated by TESDA.
On the other hand, Nokia boasts of its comprehensive portfolio and is banking on its strong research and development facility.
Raj Jain, the country head of Nokia in the Philippines, said Nokia is the leading hardware and software provider. It is one of the world’s few global companies with comprehensive portfolio for network development.
He said Nokia is not just a cellular phone. It is continuously innovating to enhance voice and data connectivity.
Eduardo Millana of Millawave said his firm is a builder of telecom infrastructure. It is a group of technology innovators.
According to Millana, Millawave used to involve in the self-reliance project of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Pilipino Telephone or Piltel, and AT&T.
NTC 11 Director Nelson Cañete welcomed the consortium with its aim of making Mindanao as pilot area.
Hopefully, the project will benefit the Filipino people. He said he is positively endorsing the consortium. Cañete hopes the consortium will get its permits.
The selection of the third telco player is expected to be made before the President delivers his third state of the nation address (SONA) in July.
On Wednesday, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Administrative Order No. 11, directing the oversight committee to assist the NTC in the formulation of the Term of Reference (TOR) for the selection and assignment of radio frequencies for the entry of new telco player.
The panel will be composed of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary as chairperson; Finance chief as vice-chairperson; Office of the Executive Secretary; and, National Security Adviser.
The President has been pushing for reliable, inexpensive and secure telecommunications services in the country, noting that telecommunications is essential infrastructure to a country’s economic development and competitiveness.
In the order, Duterte said the entry of a new major telco player is a matter of paramount national interest which would redound to the benefit of the public by ensuring genuine competition. (PNA)