DICT moves deadline for auction of 3rd telco slot

Chrisee Dela Paz
DICT moves deadline for auction of 3rd telco slot
'If we force the end-of-March deadline, there might not be any bidders,' says the acting chief of the Department of Information and Communications Technology

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) moved the deadline of submission of bids for the slot of the 3rd major telecommunications player to May 18, instead of March, heeding the call of prospective entrants.

“The request is coming from the contenders themselves. If we force the end-of-March deadline, there might not be any bidders,” DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio Jr told reporters in a text message.

President Rodrigo Duterte had previously rejected the DICT’s request to extend the deadline, asking the department to come up with a 3rd major telco by March.

The DICT had announced plans of conducting a “reverse bidding,” where it will grant a provisional authority and award the available 3G and 4G frequencies to the winning concessionaire.

The proposed criterion is “highest 5-year financial rollout plan” of ICT services that would make use of available frequencies.

Rio said the DICT will post the initial memorandum circular for the 3rd telco auction on Monday, February 19.

“We will hold a public forum on February 27 and a public hearing on the memorandum on March 6,” Rio added.

The deadline for the submission of position papers will be on March 12.

“April 5 is the tentative effectivity of the memorandum, while May 18 is the tentative bid submission,” Rio added.

Pressed for time, Rio has been seeking opinions from stakeholders on ways to entice and choose the rightful 3rd player that would challenge giants PLDT Incorporated and Globe Telecom Incorporated.

Small local players and foreign powerhouses have been teaming up and forming 3 consortia to vie for the 3rd telco slot, said Rio.

The DICT acting chief said these 3 groups will each be led by Converge ICT Solutions Incorporated, Now Corporation, and Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corporation (PT&T). – Rappler.com

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