Lawmaker says 3rd telco could match market value of PLDT, Globe

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The country’s third telecommunications service provider could eventually have a “market value” of up to P300 billion, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said on Friday, Feb 16.

“There is room for the new entrant to come in, simply because there is pent-up demand for faster mobile phone Internet connection speeds among Filipinos,” Campos said.

“This unusually strong demand is not being fully satisfied because neither of the two existing players is willing to supply the superior connection speeds at a lower price,” the lawmaker said.

At present, the Philippines has the slowest average Internet connection speed in Asia, according to Akamai Technologies.

Campos said P300 billion is around the range of the current market values of PLDT and Globe Telecom.

As of Feb. 15, PLDT and Globe had market values of P336 billion and P240 billion respectively, based on the closing prices of their common shares at the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Market value, or market capitalization in the case of publicly traded companies such as PLDT and Globe, refers to the price that the market is willing to pay for an asset.

Campos earlier backed the government’s resolve to give preferential treatment to the third player, saying it is “absolutely justified” to drive market competition and give Filipinos access to faster and cheaper Internet connection speeds.

The new entrant is expected to be formed and named by May, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

Meanwhile, Campos welcomed the DICT’s plan to adopt a common tower policy.

“The idea is not new. In America, they actually have a large company engaged only in the business of owning and operating wireless and broadcast communications towers,” he pointed out.

He was referring to American Tower Corporation, a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm that belongs to the S&P 500 Index.

Common towers will work as long as these are run by an independent company, Campos said.

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