Duterte picks China to smash Smart-Globe duopoly using Facebook’s massive broadband backbone
President Rodrigo Duterte has given China’s Xi Jinping the key to enter the local telecommunications industry name any Chinese telecom.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said: “During the bilateral talks between President Duterte and the Chinese Premier, President Duterte offered to the People’s Republic of China the privilege to operate the third telecom’s carrier in the country.”
Roque said China has yet to name the Chinese telecom firm which would end the duopoly of PLDT-Smart of the Salim-Metro Pacific group and Globe Telcom of the Ayalas.
Roque said the Xi’s handpicked telco would ride on the backbone provided by a Facebook subsidiary which would lay down cables with a total capacity of two terabits per second or equivalent to the combined capacity of Smart and Globe.
The Philippines recently signed with an affiliate of Facebook, Pacific Light Cable Network, for the establishment of “Luzon Bypass” of the Pacific Light Cable Network which will provide bandwidth for the Chinese player.
Roque revealed that the Facebook project should have been signed as early as December 2016 if not for resistance from the fired Department of Information and Communication Technology Secretary Rudy Salalima, a former Globe executive and lawyer.
”It was not signed by the former Secretary of the DICT. And this was one of the areas pinpointed by Cabinet investigators as an area of conflict of interest for the former Secretary of DICT,” Roque said.
“It was further reported by the special investigating committee that the former DICT Secretary likewise may have prevented the earlier breakup of the duopoly by delaying the use of satellites as viable option,” he added.
He said consumers could look forward to better telecommunication services not just in terms of cellular technology but also in terms of internet speed as well as access.
He said the President was so serious about China’s entry that he nstructed all applications be filed and acted upon directly by the Office of the Executive Secretary within 45 days.
On why he chose China, Roque said the President believed that China has the capital and the technology to provide efficient telecom service.
“With the number of subscribers that Chinese telecoms company have in China, there can be no doubt that they are amongst the biggest in the world. Consider also the proximity and the fact that we want to avail of as much economic advantage that we could arising from the renewed friendly ties with China,” he said.