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PT&T firms up interest in 3rd telco bidding

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PHILIPPINE Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) on Wednesday signified its interest in joining the government’s search for a third telecommunications player by purchasing the bid documents.

“We have gone over the bid documents and they are acceptable to us. We have bought the bid documents and believe we have a strong chance to win. We are the only local company that would comply with the requirements and we have over 50 years of telecommunications experience servicing the Filipino people,” PT&T President and CEO James G. Velasquez said in the statement.

Mr. Velasquez said the bid documents were “consistent with what the DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) and NTC (National Telecommunications Commission) has shared in the…selection process.”

On Tuesday, another third telco aspirant, Now Corp., said it sued the NTC over “onerous” financial requirements in the terms of reference for the new major telecommunications player.

At the same time, PT&T said it posted a P25-million net income for the full year ending June, growing 193% from in the same period last year.

In a statement on Wednesday, the aspiring third telco player said its financial performance was “fueled by higher client base and lower operating expenses,” after recording a 62% rise in revenues to P201 million from P124 million during the same period in 2017.

PT&T said its client base grew 72.64% year-on year, noting the impact of the company’s change in leadership.

Menlo Capital Corp. acquired 70% of PT&T from Republic Telecommunications Holdings, Inc. in August 2017. A new set of management has since come in.

“Our focus on the fixed broadband business has led to growth. The future is bright for PT&T and we expect continued growth as we capture more opportunities in this space,” Mr. Velasquez said in the statement.

When PT&T held its annual stockholders’ meeting last month, the first since its voluntary suspension of trading in 2004, Mr. Velasquez said the company intends to strengthen its broadband network nationwide.

Mr. Velasquez said the company is raising P7 billion to fund a plan to double its fiber footprint to about 20,000 kilometers within two years. He noted its newly signed memorandum of understanding with state-owned National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) will help PT&T with the plan as it will ensure the use of the government’s fiber optic backbone facility. — Denise A. Valdez