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MANILA, Philippines, May 23, 2011 – Though it claims to be asking for a “level playing field” in the telecoms industry by opposing PLDT’s investment in Digital Telecommunications Philippines (Digitel), Globe Telecom is actually engaged in a campaign to secure for itself “special privileges” from the government, according to a senior PLDT official.
“By raising the false issue of monopoly, Globe wants the government to give it radio frequencies for free – at the expense not only of PLDT but also other telecom players,” said Ray Espinosa, PLDT director and PLDT Head of Regulatory Affairs and Policy.
Espinosa was reacting to the opposition to PLDT’s investment in Digitel filed by Globe at the hearing of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Monday.
In its formal motion to oppose, Globe asked the NTC to take 22 MHz of radio spectrum currently assigned to PLDT and Digitel and to reassign these frequencies to Globe.
“That is what all this noise is about. Globe’s opposition to the Digitel investment is not based on principle or out of concern for consumer interest. They want to hold hostage the Digitel deal so that they can get for free radio frequencies that PLDT and Digitel are already using to serve their customers. These frequencies are being used properly and efficiently to serve millions of subscribers.” Espinosa said.
To "level the playing field", Globe seeks now to degrade the quality of services to millions of subscribers currently being served by PLDT and Digitel. Globe wants the Government, through the NTC, to step in and fix Globe's inefficiencies and thereby restore its competitiveness - competitiveness which it lost by reason of its own inefficiencies and the superior services offered by its rivals. What Globe seeks therefore is contrary to well known principles of competition and free market." Espinosa added.
“Globe and its allies are going to considerable trouble and expense making media statements and placing full-page ads by instant and hastily formed groups to make it appear that it is on the side of the public. But the reality is, if Globe has its way, the interests of the far larger number of Smart and Digitel subscribers will be harmed by the actions it is lobbying for,” he added.
This will for example undermine the objectives of the Digitel investment which include optimizing investments in new technologies like LTE or fourth generation mobile technology that will help bring broadband internet services faster to more areas of the country.
“Through this substantial investment in Digitel and through its accelerated capex program, PLDT is committing considerable resources in order to make good its pledge to bring better services to more Filipinos,” Espinosa said. “Globe wants a freebie.”
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