Transpacific Broadband seeks franchise renewal to join race to be third telco player

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TRANSPACIFIC Broadband Group International, Inc. (TBGI) said it is seeking to renew its congressional franchise to boost its efforts to join the government’s search for a so-called “third telco” player, among other telecommunication opportunities.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, the company said its board has “authorized and empowered (the company) to apply for renewal (of) its congressional Franchise under Republic Act 8657 for another 25 years covering periods of year 2023 to 2048.”

It added, the effort is ultimately to “support government initiative for a 3rd Telco to serve the public interest.”

“TBGI has signified its interest to participate in various DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) opportunities in the telecommunication market, given the urgent 2018 directive of the government to have a 3rd Telco in the Philippines.”

Besides intending to participate in the government’s efforts to find a new major player in the telco industry, the listed company also expressed interest to join a consortium in building 50,000 common towers in the country and to join a Chinese consortium to open a representative office in China.

The China unit, it said, is supposed to “bring in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Initiative, Block Chain Technology, Asset-backed Initial Coin Offering (ICO), and Internet of Things technology” to the Philippines.

“The China representative office will complement the PEZA Ecozone of ATN Group, by orienting possible host locators including AI / technology companies,” TBGI added.

At present, the Arsenio T. Ng-led firm operates satellite operations for Uplink Services, VSAT Services and Internet over Satellite Services. — Denise A. Valdez