The top 3 hurdles facing Buddy Zamora’s PT&T
Business magnate Salvador Zamora II’s bid to make Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) a major player in the telecommunications sector may be a long shot.
A top local brokerage house said it was premature to say if PT&T could shake things up in the Philippines’ telco sector, where incumbent giants PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecoms control most of the fixed-line and broadband connections.
Formerly owned by the Santiago family, PT&T has been under corporate rehabilitation since 2009 owing to its huge debt pile. With PT&T now under the helm of Zamora, the telco is looking to regain its old glory by providing super fast internet to the public.
“It is early days for us to assess if PT&T can be a potential threat to incumbent players. It also remains to be seen if the company can attract foreign partners to support its bid given the ongoing rehabilitation and the prevailing competitive landscape,” the brokerage house said.
The broker firm also expressed doubts as to whether PT&T could get a strategic partner given the intense competition in the industry.
“We note that San Miguel Corp, even with the strategic advantage of having the crucial frequencies for a successful operation, failed to attract a foreign partner in its bid to launch high-speed internet operations. SMC ended up selling its telco assets to PLDT and Globe,” it said.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Zamora was hoping to strike a partnership with foreign groups like China Telecom and India’s Jio to bolster PT&T’s bid to become Philippines’ third telco player.
Apart from these,” PT&T would have to contend with barriers such as regulations and sizeable investments needed to overcome the first-mover advantages of TEL and GLO in the fixed- internet space,” the broker firm said.
” PT&T’s plan to partner with cable companies for last-mile connections may be easier said than done as SkyCable and Cignal are already affiliated with the incumbent players,” it pointed out.