PLDT, one of the two names in the telco duopoly in the Philippines, is going to give up their CURE frequencies to the government for free.
The Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprises (CURE) was bought by PLDT in 2007 and they rebranded it as RED Mobile. And in 2011, PLDT also acquired Digitel (Sun Cellular).
With the acquisition, PLDT got a total of 35 MHz of all the 55 MHz frequencies available for the 3G band. NTC thought that was just too much for a single company to hold, so they were ordered to divest its interest to CURE before they approve the Digitel acquisition.
NTC intended to auction CURE’s frequencies but it failed to do so.
Now, the government wants to assign CURE’s frequencies to the incoming third telco player. Edgardo Cabarios, NTC Deputy Commissioner, said that the third player might have to pay PLDT Php3 billion as a compensation, which PLDT Chairman Manny V Pangilinan agreed to as “a good price”.
However, President Duterte was not happy about it and threatened to place the telco under a tax audit, which pushed PLDT to just surrender CURE’s frequencies for free.
President Duterte earlier said that he wants the third player to be up and running in the first quarter of 2018. However, potential bidders are asking to extend the deadline to mid-April due to the numerous holidays in the country.
Source: GMA News