Entry of new telco players ‘best whip’ against giant firms — NTC
MANILA, Philippines — The entry of new telecommunication players is the “best whip” for industry giants Globe Telecom and PLDT Smart to improve their services, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) told the Senate on Monday.
NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said they expect “intense competition” as the China-backed DITO Telecommunity prepares for its roll out next year.
“…And they are very aggressive,” Cordoba said of Dito during the hearing of the Senate committee on public services being headed by Senator Grace Poe.
“Kaya po medyo mapapalaban itong dalawang incumbents natin and that is the best whip, that’s the best stick for them kaya po sila gumagastos sa capital expenditures.”
(That’s why our two incumbents would need to compete, and that is the best whip, that’s the best stick for them; that’s why they’re spending on capital expenditures.)
“They are feeling that DITO is really a threat, and hindi lang po yun (not only that), Converge is also a threat right now, it’s being felt,” he added.
Aside from Dito and Converge, the NTC chief pointed out there is another player, the Red Broadband owned by Manila Electric Co., joining the competition next year.
“Kaya po we expect intense competition starting 2021 and hopefully yun po ang magpapaganda pa at magpapabilis ng ating service,” Cordoba said.
(That’s why we expect intense competition starting 2021 and hopefully this will improve and speed up our [internet] services),” Cordoba said.
But aside from allowing the entry of more industry players, the NTC chief also underscored the need for additional funding for the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s national broadband program (NBP).
Poe informed the NTC that the Senate has already increased the budget proposal for NBP from P900M under the National Expenditure Program to P5.9 billion.
She described the P900M budget for NBP as “laughable,” considering that the DICT’s original request was P18 billion.
Congress has yet to approve the proposed national budget next year.
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