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Philippines readies for 3G auction; Globe eyes license

Regulator to soon auction license surrendered by incumbent PLDT--given up as part of conditions tied to acquisition of rival last year--which main competitor Globe Telecom has expressed interest in.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

Philippines telco Globe Telecom will bid for additional network bandwidth after rival PLDT's subsidiary Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises (CURE) formally surrendered its 3G spectrum. This was among assets under CURE given up as part of conditions tied to the approval of PLDT's acquisition of Digitel last year.
According to Telecom Asia on Wednesday, up for grabs are the remaining assets of CURE such as its congressional franchise, which is valid until April 2026, and its 10 MHz 3G license.

It noted that PLDT will be barred from bidding, but rival Globe Telecom, has already expressed interested in taking part.

"We’ve been vocal about our interest to bid for CURE’s 3G spectrum as part of our drive to provide our subscribers with a better network, especially with the growth of smartphones and the explosion of mobile data use," said Froilan M. Castelo, head of corporate and legal services of Globe.

Globe president and CEO Ernest Cu told Telecom Asia that the extra spectrum would benefit the company, in light of the ongoing network modernization and transformation initiatives. The increasing data usage by customers has been adding pressure on telcos to upgrade their networks. "This won't be easy given the players involved but we'll go for it," he said.

His company's subscriber base is now over 31 million, less than half of PLDT's base which was boosted by the acquisition of Digitel's 15 million wireless subscribers in their merger last year.


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