The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Globe Telecom Inc. have announced the P69 billion acquisition of San Miguel Corporation’s (SMC’s) telecommunications assets that would “significantly improve Internet and data services” in the country.
“This transaction offers a breakthrough opportunity, not only for the companies involved but also for the industry and the country,” PLDT Chief Executive Officer Manuel V. Pangilinan said in a statement on Monday, May 30.
“This will enable existing operators to provide significantly improved Internet and data services to the public and to our customers in the shortest possible time. At the same time, it leaves the door open for new entrants into the industry,” said Pangilinan.
Under the agreement, PLDT and Globe will each receive 50 percent of a 700-MHz (megahertz) frequency band that will “help significantly improve Internet speed, quality, and coverage” and “provide better indoor coverage and enable faster rollout in regional and rural areas.”
The acquisition deal will also allow PLDT and Globe to turn over to the government’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) 700Hz, 850 MHz, 2500 MHz, and 3500 MHz radio frequency bands from Vega Telecom, Inc, New Century, and eTelco.
The additional radio frequencies by the NTC will pave the way for a third-party operator to join the market.
With the acquisition of the 700MHz spectrum, PLDT’s capital expenditure (capex) will rise to $100 million as it speeds up the building of more networks, but at the same time enable subscribers to enjoy “wider coverage and more efficient network utilization.”
The acquisition is also eyed to “help bridge the digital divide in the country and create more opportunities to promote rural development.”
Aside from the 700MHz frequencies, PLDT will likewise acquire 900MHz and 1800MHz bands which are expected to provide improved network coverage and data services.
The agreement on the radio frequencies was part of a terminated joint venture between SMC and Australian telecoms provider Telstra Corporation.