DICT Issues Policy Guidelines For the Entry of a New Major Player in the Public Telecommunications Market

On 08 January 2018, the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) issued its “Policy Guidelines for the Entry of a New Major Player in the Public Telecommunications Market”, pursuant to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order that a new major player in the telecommunications industry should be able to enter the market at the end of the 1st quarter of 2018.
Memorandum Order No. 001 Series of 2008 has been issued by the DICT in order to address the need to improve telecommunication services all over the country given that there are currently only two groups of companies that are operating as full telecommunications networks and service providers.
Under the Memorandum Order, an applicant which seeks to qualify as the new major player in the public telecommunications market should (1) possess a valid Congressional Telecommunications Franchise, (2) not have any corporate or financial interest in either the Globe Group or the PLDT Group as of 31 December 2017, and (3) possess a written commitment from a foreign joint venture company, if applicable.
The applicant with the highest committed investment for the first five years secured with a performance bond shall be selected. The selected telecommunications company shall be assigned radio frequency bands which shall be automatically recalled if the company fails to comply with the committed investment for the first five years.
It is expected that the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), in consultation with the DICT, will promulgate further Terms of Reference for the selection and assignment of radio frequencies for the new telecommunications company in a Memorandum Circular to be issued no later than 19 February 2018.
Notably, in recent news, it has been reported that President Duterte has rejected the request of the DICT to extend the deadline in selecting the third telecommunications player to May 2018. [1]
The full text of DICT Memorandum Order No. 001-2018 is available here.

[1]       Nestor Corrales, Plalace reject DICT request to extend deadline on entry of 3rd telco player, Inquirer.net, 06 February 2018, available at https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/966608/palace-rejects-dict-request-to-extend-deadline-on-entry-of-3rd-telco-player-duterte-dict-third-telco-communications-rio.