The third telecommunications player in the Philippines may have its first subscriber by 2019 if all goes according to schedule. This is according to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) heads at a Senate hearing on Monday.
Senate committee on public services chair, Senator Grace Poe, was the first to ask when the third telco would become operational. NTC chairperson Gamaliel Cordoba explained that by November 7, the country would have a “provisional” new major telecommunications player.
He said that the new telco will 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.
ICT Secretary Eliseo Rio agreed with Escudero’s statement and 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.