Friday, June 14, 2024

Globe: It?s NTC — not PCC ? that can block use of 700 MHz frequency

Local operator Globe Telecom said on Thursday, Aug 4, that the review by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) of its buyout of San Miguel Corporation?s telco assets does not have any effect on its co-use of the 700 MHz frequency because the issue is under the domain of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo (left) with Globe chief information and technology officer Gil Genio
Globe general counsel Froilan Castelo (left) with Globe chief information and technology officer Gil Genio

Froilan Castelo, general counsel of Globe, said in a press briefing that PCC?s review is limited only to the determination whether or not the P69.1-billion deal between Globe-PLDT and SMC will affect competition in the local market.

?The PCC and the NTC have different jurisdictions. Thus, it doesn?t mean that if the PCC will make an adverse ruling on the matter, the NTC will have to follow it,? said Castelo.

Castelo pointed out that the NTC is the sole body which has regulatory powers over the telecom industry. The PCC, on the other hand, is tasked with ensuring that anti-competition behaviors are checked.

The official stressed, however, that the Globe?s co-use of the 700 MHz is a separate matter altogether from the buyout transaction with SMC. ?This issue [on the use of the 700 MHz] is under the jurisdiction of the NTC,? he said.

Because it was the NTC which allowed the co-use by Globe and PLDT of the radio spectrum, Castelo said it is the regulatory agency which also has the power to revoke the same order.

Castelo added that the company is ready to exhaust all legal remedies, even going up all the way to the Supreme Court, to question the validity of the PCC?s review of the transaction.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals has ordered the consolidation of the petitions of Globe and PLDT against the review of the PCC. Both Globe and PLDT have filed separate petitions to oblige PCC to declare the transaction as “deemed approved” under their MC 2016-002.

Globe has maintained that the PCC contradicted its own rules by claiming the two telcos failed to comply with its own rules. The company said it cooperated fully with the government body and provided the agency with the necessary information and documents over and above the notice required.

At the press briefing, Globe also announced that it posted a double-digit hike in revenues, reaching a total P59.6 billion, up 11% from P53.8 billion a year earlier.

The revenue growth was underpinned by the rise in data-related service revenues across mobile, home broadband and corporate data, according to Globe chief information and technology officer Gil Genio, who noted that the Philippines now has the second cheapest data offerings in the world after India.

Globe recorded net income of close to P9.0 billion, up by 3% against the P8.7 billion reported in the same period of 2015. The telco?s corporate data business surged by 55% to P4.9 billion for the first six months of 2016, from the P3.1 billion in the same period a year ago.


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