PT&T joins 3rd telco race, says bid guidelines ‘acceptable’

The Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company (PT&T) has formally thrown its hat in the race to become the new major player in the local telecommunications industry.

PT&T officials led by its president and CEO James Velasquez (2nd from right) bought bid documents from the NTC on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Photo credit: PT&T

The company purchased bidding documents Wednesday, October 10, joining bidders Udenna Corporation of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, TierOne Communications in partnership with the LCS Group of former Ilocos Sur. Gov. Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson, Now Telecom of businessman Mel Velarde, Norwegian telecom operator Telenor Group, and an unidentified local company.

In a regulatory disclosure Thursday, October 11, the company has confirmed reports that it has bought bidding documents worth P1 million to participate in the bidding process for the third telco player.

“We have downloaded the bid documents as soon as it was made available and have reviewed it thoroughly. As it stands, they are acceptable to us. We have bought the bid documents and we are confident our chances are strong,” PT&T president and CEO James Velasquez said.

“We believe we are the only local company that can comply with the stringent requirements and we have over 50 years of telecommunications experience servicing the Filipino people,” he added.

The company likewise said that it has posted a net income of P25 million in the fiscal year ending June 2018, driven by higher client base and lower operating expenses.

Revenues amounted to P201 million, up 62 percent from last year’s P124 million while its client base also increased by 72.64 percent from last year.

The firm attributed the improvement of its revenues to client growth, expansion of its fiber optic cable network and initiatives to decrease expenses.

PT&T’s bid comes just after Now Telecom filed a case against the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), due to certain provisions in the terms of reference which supposedly were not tackled during a series of public consultations.

These provisions include the P700-million participation security, the P14 to P24-billion performance security, and a P10-million non-refundable appeal fee which are considered as barriers to entry and ‘money making schemes’ against a prospective major telco player according to Now Telecom.

Department of Information and Communications Technology acting secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said these provisions were included in the guidelines to ensure that a third telco player has the financial and technical capability to compete with existing players PLDT and Globe Telecom.

Now Telecom’s case against the NTC is only aimed at delaying the selection process for the third telco player, according to Rio. — Aerol John Pateña (PNA)

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