PT&T to partner with Chinese firm to bolster third telco bid
Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (PT&T) is looking to partner with a Chinese firm in a bid to finally break the PLDT-Globe duopoly which has lasted for decades and stifled competition.
In an interview with Reuters, PT&T chairman Salvador Zamora said the company “expects to sign by December 15 a deal with a Chinese firm providing broadband services.”
“We confirm that PT&T expects to reach a deal with a Chinese firm and in case the same pushed through we will immediately disclose to the exchange upon the execution of a definitive agreement. In the meantime, the discussions and the identity of the said Chinese firm is covered by a non-disclosure agreement,” PT&T said in a filing with the stock exchange.
The company is also reportedly wooing China Telecom and Datang Telecom to be its partner.
PT&T’s bid to become a major force in the multi-billion peso telco industry seems to have the blessing of President Duterte, who recently offered China the privilege of being the country’s third telecoms player.
Duterte vowed to open the telco sector to new players to address poor internet and mobile services in the country.
Foreign firms intending to enter the Philippine telco market need to partner with a local company.
The Constitution limits foreign ownership of the operation of public utilities such as telco and transport to only 40 percent, and reserves the other 60 percent to Filipino citizens or corporations.
The Zamora-led telco firm is expanding its broadband services and also wants to enter the mobile phone market.