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Philippines looks to open up market to further entrants

Philippines looks to open up market to further entrants

Following Mislatel’s confirmation as the newest operator in the Philippines’ mobile market, the country’s authorities have suggested that more spectrum could be released to allow additional players to launch operations.

The Philippines’ mobile market has long been dominated by the duopoly of Globe Telecom and PLDT’s Smart, which hold a combined market share of 99.8%. Mislatel – a consortium featuring China Telecom – is now set to become the third major player, having received spectrum in the 700MHz, 2100MHz, 2000MHz, 2500MHz, 3300MHz and 3500MHz bands.

BusinessWorld reported the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT)’s undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim as saying that additional spectrum could be opened up to new entrants, and suggesting that this was the only restriction on more operators entering the market: “If we have enough frequencies, we’ll allow a fourth telco, a fifth telco.”

The DICT’s acting secretary Eliseo Rio noted that the department was considering upping spectrum usage fees, thereby providing an incentive for operators that don’t use their airwaves to the fullest extent to return their spectrum to the government.

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