Third telco bidders must have P10B net worth
Any group vying for the third telco slot to be bidded out by the government must have a net worth of at least P10 billion and a valid congressional franchise to operate telecom services, based on the terms of reference drafted by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The new rules will serve as the basis for the government’s selection of a new major telco player which can compete head on with industry giants PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecoms.
A public consultation has been set on Feb. 27 to allow interested parties to clarify matters that are unclear.
The legislative franchise must be valid at least until Dec. 31, 2023.
DICT said prospective bidders should not be a related party to any telecom group with a mobile and broadband wireless market share of at least 40 percent. They shall also be at least 60 percent Filipino-owned.
The winning bidder is required to post a performance bond equivalent to 0.005 of the amount of the committed investment for the first five years. It shall also be required to deposit a minimum of 30 percent of the committed investment for the first year with a government financial institution specified by the Department of Finance (DOF) within 30 days from the award.
It must start commercial operations not later than 12 months from the date of award and must cover at least 80 percent of the provincial capital cities and towns and 80 percent of the chartered cities within five years.
The DICT has set May18 as the deadline for submission of bids.
Those that have earlier expressed their intention to join the race are Manny Zamora’s Philippine Telephone and Telegraph, Mel Velarde’s Now Telecom, and Converge ICT Solutions Inc.