The country’s chief economist expects the entry of the third telco to boost investments and capital flows by next year.
While noting that the award to the joint venture of the group of businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and state-run China Telecom was still tentative, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) chief Ernesto M. Pernia said a new player in the telco sector currently dominated by the Globe-Smart duopoly “will benefit” the economy.
“There will be more spending. Spending, of course, of capital,” Pernia said in an interview.
The Neda chief said the third telco will boost investments next year.
After last Wednesday’s bidding deadline, Udenna-China Telecom emerged as the sole qualified bidder, such that it was named as the provisional third telco by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
Udenna is a holding company with interests in energy, logistics, property and education. China Telecom, China’s third largest telco, has about 250 million mobile subscribers and $50 billion in annual operating revenue.
Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. (Mislatel) was the telco franchise holder tapped by Udenna-China Telecom.
The provisional winner will need to undergo a three-day verification process before being named the final new major player. The final winner will receive the necessary licenses from the NTC as well as a coveted set of 3G, 4G and potential 5G frequencies to launch its mobile services. /muf
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