More foreign telco players looking to invest in the Philippines: DICT

MANILA – More Foreign telecommunications players are showing interest in setting up shop in the country following the enactment of the amended Public Service Act which liberalized the sector, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said Monday.

DICT will speed up the process of applications to anyone who wants to enter the country to offer telco services, DICT Secretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic said during the blessing of its new office in Quezon City.

“Marami na nagpapahiwatig, marami na nagtatanong ano gagawin nila para mabilis [ang proseso],” 

(Many are showig interests, many are asking what do they need to do to speed up the process)

Caintic said some of the firms are from Europe and the US but he did not disclose names.

The Trade Department earlier said it has met with Elon Musk’s SpaceX for the rollout of its Starlink satellite broadband service in the country.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the agency would assist SpaceX in permitting. He said SpaceX is currently scouting for locations.

Caintic said SpaceX is processing its papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission and that it still needs permits from the National Telecommunications Commission and the DICT.

“Sa atin naman, inaantay natin makumpleto mga papeles para maka-umpisa sila maka-operate. Pagkatapos nun magtatayo pa sila earth stations, may mga ilang buwan pa silang kailanganin,” said Caintic.

(On our part, we are waiting for them to complete their papers so they can start to operate. After that they will still build earth stations. They still need a few months)

The DICT is also constructing common towers and common fiber networks so that all players, local and foreign, would find it easier to connect to the system, Caintic said.

PLDT Inc earlier sold almost 6,000 telco towers for P77 billion. Its chairman Manny Pangilinan said the portfolio could give the buyers a headstart in their common tower operations in the country.

Politician and businessman Chavit Singson’s LCS Group said his firm has activated its first common tower in 2021. 

The Philippines has one of the lowest tower-to-subscriber ratio in Asia. 

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