NTC urged to distribute SMC?s 700 Mhz band to existing telcos

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With competition in the local telco industry expected to heat up with the entry of another player as early as next year, Globe Telecom has urged the government to distribute the unused 700-megahertz frequency band currently held by San Miguel Corporation (SMC).


SMC is teaming up with Australian operator Telstra for what is expected to be the third major player in the cutthroat telecom space currently dominated by two incumbents ? Globe and PLDT?s Smart Communications.

But in a statement, Globe said the equitable distribution of the unused 700-megahertz frequency band currently held by SMC will help improve Internet speed in the country.

?Part of the solution to the clamor for faster Internet is the harmonization of the 700 Mhz frequency,? said Globe general legal counsel Froilan Castelo.

?Giving active and operating telecommunications companies access to this band will allow the industry to provide broadband and data services at faster speeds and in a more cost-efficient manner,? he added.

Castelo said that as early as 2005, Globe already wrote to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) requesting for an allocation and assignment of frequencies within the 700 Mhz and 800 Mhz for its broadband wireless network. The NTC, however, did not act favorably on its request.

Earlier, PLDT also pressed the NTC to auction off part of the 700 Mhz frequency band to industry players who actually have more subscribers than SMC.

PLDT regulatory affairs head Ray Espinosa has said that the frequency is important in terms of providing local networks with the ability to attain much needed capacity and speed.

SMC holds 90 Mhz out of the total 100 Mhz on the 700 Mhz band. The company?s Wi-Tribe and High Frequency Telecommunications control 80 Mhz and 10 Mhz respectively, while New Century Telecommunications holds the other 10 Mhz.

Liberty Telecoms Holding Inc., SMC?s holding firm for Wi-Tribe, was placed under corporate rehabilitation and debt restructuring in 2005. This was after it suspended its operations due to financial difficulties and lack of capital required to operate. Liberty reported a net loss of P432.95 million in the first semester of 2015.

In another development, Globe also announced key senior management appointments and organization changes effective November 9.

Gil B. Genio will be the new chief technology and information officer (CTIO). As CTIO, Genio will lead an integrated network and technology organization and the overall vision, development and execution of network and technology architecture and strategies, proactively responding to business and market demands.

He will continue to be the company?s chief strategy officer. Genio is currently chief operating officer for international and business markets.

Alberto M. de Larrazabal, meanwhile, will be the new chief commercial officer (CCO). As CCO, de Larrazabal will drive the integration and execution of strategies across all commercial units, including marketing, sales and channels, and product development for all segments of business.

All core business groups will be consolidated under the CCO. De Larrazabal is currently the company?s chief finance officer, treasurer, and chief risk officer.

On the other hand, Rosemarie Maniego-Eala will be the acting chief finance officer. Maniego-Eala will likewise assume the role of treasurer and chief risk officer.

She joined Globe in 1998 as director for financial planning and analysis. She became president of G-Xchange in 2006 and group head of international business in 2011.

Lastly, Maria Aurora Sy-Manalang will be the new chief information officer (CIO). As CIO, Sy-Manalang will head the information systems group and will form part of the CTIO?s organization.

Sy-Manalang joined Globe in 2005. She has since then handled various leadership roles in the organization, the most recent of which was head of product management.

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