Thursday, November 14, 2013


MANILA - The MVP-lead telecom company is bucking its closest rival's bid to take over the Lopez-owned Bayan Telecommunications Inc.

In a letter filed with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT) said Globe Telecom Inc's acquisition of a 56.6 percent equity stake in Bayantel "discourages, if not hampers, a healthy competitive environment."

PLDT is indirectly associated with Media Quest Holdings, the holding company that controls TV5. Bayantel is sister company of ABS-CBN Corporation under Lopez Holdings Inc.  

PLDT cited the looming transfer of Bayantel's radio frequencies to Globe provides it with a "grossly disproportionate amount of frequencies in relation to its subscribers."

In making its case, PLDT cited Globe's 32 percent share of the cellular market for a subscriber base of 27 million, as against the former's 68 percent or 60 million subscribers.

With the acquisition of Bayantel, Globe would have control over 22.5 megahertz (MHz) of the 1800 MHz 2G bandwidth. 

"If Globe is allowed to control a grossly disproportionate amount of frequencies in relation to its number of subscribers, this would stifle the capabilities of other telecommunications carriers which would have to strain the frequencies allotted to them thus making it more difficult to provide better services to their subscribers," PLDT said. 

"Clearly, Globe does not need the frequency spectrum assigned to Bayantel as its subscriber to frequency ratio is significantly lower than the subscriber to frequency ration of PLDT," the dominant telco said.

"It is grossly unfair and anti-competitive for Globe to have access to 42 percent more 4G frequencies than PLDT. PLDT has double the number of subscribers of Globe, and it has been unduly deprived of frequencies that it can possibly utilize to ensure better services for its consumers," PLDT said.

The company reiterated its proposal for the NTC to recall Bayantel's frequencies following its failure to roll out mobile phone service, a condition to the grant of the said frequencies.

"Despite obtaining multiple extensions from the NTC, Bayantel has still, to date, not even begun is CMTS service due to its financial inability to do so, leaving the frequencies assigned to it dormant and unused," PLDT said. 

Because of this, PLDT wants the NTC to divest certain frequencies that have been previously allocated to Globe or Bayantel. 

Sought for comment, Globe head of corporate and legal services Froilan M. Castelo said the merger with Bayantel is "good for the country and good for the industry." 

"The good news, the government did not oppose this, the public sector did not oppose this," Castelo said, referring to the Office of the Solicitor General.


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