PLDT, Inc. has vowed to surrender its acquired frequencies to the government “at no cost” to make it available for the new major telco player, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said.
In a Facebook post on February 7, DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio said he talked with PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan to discuss President Rodrigo Duterte’s call for the latter to give the 3G frequencies without compensation.
In a radio interview, Rio said Duterte was “displeased” with reports that the government has to pay for frequencies from the telcos.
“Gusto ni Presidente na kunin yung frequency at no cost to the government. ‘Yun ang kanyang instuction,” he said.
Earlier reports stated Pangilinan believed P3 billion was a “good price” for the CURE frequency.
Rio said the business tycoon agreed to give the frequencies it got when it purchased the Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprise (CURE) in 2007.
It was in 2006 when the government had given the frequencies to CURE for free.
In 2012, the acquired 3G frequencies were then surrendered to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as part of the agreement when it acquire Sun Cellular.
The additional frequencies would be awarded to the winning bidder, giving it a boost to compete against the duopoly PLDT and Globe Telecom. The Philippines may expect the third telco to be operational within the first quarter, the government said.