By Denise A. Valdez
TWO more companies have solidified their interest in participating in the government’s bid for a new major telecommunications player, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said on Wednesday.
In a text message, an NTC spokesperson said Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. and AMA Telecommunication Corp. have bought the selection documents for the bidding happening next week.
“AMA Telecommunication Corp. just purchased Selection Documents. Converge was one of the unidentified buyers last week. Mr. Dennis Uy’s presence in the office today made it public that it was Converge who actually purchased the document,” it said.
Acting Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. previously told reporters Converge ICT led by Pampanga-based businessman Dennis Anthony H. Uy was joining the bidding with foreign partner KT Corp. from South Korea.
AMA Telecommunication Corp., meanwhile, has no digital footprint that would detail its company identity. Only a certain “AMA Telecommunications, Inc.” could be found online, which was given a congressional franchise in July 2016.
The latest update brings the total number of expected participants in the third telco search on Wednesday to 10, comprised of a mix of foreign and local companies.
Prior to Converge ICT and AMA Telecommunication, other local companies that have bought selection documents are Davao businessman Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Corp.; Mel V. Verlade’s Now Corp. affiliate Now Telecom Co., Inc.; a consortium led by TierOne Communications International, Inc. and Luis “Chavit” C. Singson’s LCS Group of Companies; Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T); and one undisclosed company.
Among the foreign participants are Norway’s Telenor Group, China’s China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and Austria’s Mobiltel Holding GmbH.
At stake for the winning bidder is a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) valid for 15 years or the length of the franchise of a bidder, whichever is shorter; and radio frequency bands of 700 megahertz (MHz), 2100 MHz, 2000 MHz, 2.5 gigahertz (GHz), 3.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz.
The government said it will award the third telco player before Christmas.