WiMax: Waiting to explode in Philippines?

WiMax: Waiting to explode in Philippines?

Summary: Last weekend, I had the chance to take part in an offsite press event organized by Smart Communications, the topdog in the mobile telecom space here in the Philippines. I was surprised to hear that they, too, have plans to roll out WiMax, as its rival Globe Telecom had done recently.

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Last weekend, I had the chance to take part in an offsite press event organized by Smart Communications, the topdog in the mobile telecom space here in the Philippines. I was surprised to hear that they, too, have plans to roll out WiMax, as its rival Globe Telecom had done recently.

I really thought WiMax was not in the radar of Smart, as I have not heard any information regarding their plans on this wireless technology. At the event, the mobile operator even discussed the upgrade of its 3G network via the HSPA route.

But, a Smart official told that the company has already filed the necessary papers, including the application for wireless frequency at the National Telecommunications Commission, before it formally starts laying the WiMax network infrastructure.

It would be interesting to see how the competition would turn out between Globe and Smart in this arena. Between the two bitter rivals, Smart appears to be in better position right now since Globe's WiMax offering seems to have difficulty taking off the ground.

But, the market dynamics may soon change if, and when Smart formally launches its own WiMax service. That would give the technology more prominence and open a whole new set of possibilities that might benefit Globe, as a first mover, in the end.

New boss for call center firm US-based TeleTech, which claims to be the largest call center operator in the Philippines, has appointed a new general manager to head its Philippine operations after its previous chief, Maulik Parekh, resigned.

TeleTech Chairman and CEO Kenneth Tuchman has not formally announced the name of the new country head, but the company's local office has confirmed that Richard Bledsoe, the company's COO (chief operating officer), will now assume the post left by Parekh.

Bledsoe, a veteran BPO executive, was a former COO of PeopleSupport (now Aegis-PeopleSupport). He was also a former vice president at two call center firms--SourceCorp. and ACS (Affiliated Computer Services).

In its first quarter 2009 report, TeleTech reported revenue declines of 8.4 percent or US$27.8 million from the first quarter 2008 and 5.7 percent or US$18.4 million from the fourth quarter 2008. These declines, the company said, were primarily attributable to lower client volumes related to the weak economic environment and increased offshore work when compared to the prior quarters.

Topics: Telcos, Mobility, Networking, Philippines, Wi-Fi

Melvin G. Calimag

About Melvin G. Calimag

Melvin G. Calimag is currently the executive editor of an IT news website in the Philippines. Melvin has been covering the local IT beat for the last 13 years. He is currently a board member at the IT Journalists Association of the Philippines (CyberPress), and also serves as a charter member with the Philippine Science Journalists Association.

Joel D. Pinaroc

About Joel D. Pinaroc

Joel has been a media practitioner since 1996, starting off as a reporter and eventually becoming editor of a pioneering IT trade newspaper in Manila. He is currently one of the content producers of a Manila-based developmental website.

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