VILLAR-LED Streamtech Systems Technologies, Inc. will not participate in the government’s search for a third telco player, as it focuses on its own expansion strategies.
“After extensive discussions by management, Streamtech has decided not to proceed with the current bidding for the third telco and focus on our internal expansion programs and strategies,” Manuel Paolo A. Villar, chairman of Streamtech parent Prime Asset Ventures, Inc., said in a statement e-mailed to reporters over the weekend.
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. was earlier quoted as saying that Streamtech expressed interest for the third telco race.
Streamtech was one of the five companies that bought the selection documents from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on the first day of its availability last Oct. 8. At that time, a Streamtech representative asked the NTC not to disclose its participation.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed on Oct. 18 Republic Act (RA) No. 11089, granting Streamtech a 25-year telecommunications franchise that will allow the company to “construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain telecommunications systems throughout the Philippines.” A copy of the law was distributed to media on Oct. 23.
Streamtech must start operations within a year from the approval of its operating permit from the NTC, or within three years from the effectivity of RA No. 11089. Should it fail to operate continuously for two years, the franchise will be “deemed ipso facto revoked.”
Mr. Rio earlier said that Streamtech will have to partner with a foreign firm with at least 10 years’ experience in the nationwide telco business to participate in the bidding process.
Ten companies have so far purchased bid documents from the NTC ahead of the Nov. 7 deadline. Local firms include 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); Pampanga businessman Dennis Anthony Uy’s Converge ICT Solutions, Inc., AMA Telecommunication Corp., and one undisclosed company.
Foreign participants are Norway’s Telenor Group, China’s China Telecom Corp. Ltd. and Austria’s Mobiltel Holding GmbH.
The DICT will announce on Nov. 7 the “provisional” third telco player, who will then undergo a post qualification process.
The winner will be selected based on three criteria, namely national coverage (40%); capital expenditures (35%), and internet speed (25%).
The third telco player will be awarded with 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. — Arra B. Francia