Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) Chairman Manuel Pangilingan told the government not to meddle on its operation on a crowd of stockholders and provincial journalist last Tuesday.
In his statement at the PLDT annual stockholders meeting, Pangilinan expresses his dismay over the government’s latest action to review the PLDT-Globe acquisition of the 700MHz frequency with the San Miguel Corporation.
The government lack of understanding on the implementation of primary infrastructure needed to transform PLDT and Smart’s services into digital could constrain its project expected operations by 2018, he said.
MVP says, “The government’s share is to get out of the way,”.
“Whose money is being spent? It’s the private sector’s. There is no guarantee from the government, no government fund is involved, so get out of the way, period,” Pangilinan said.
PLDT and Globe go into a joint venture to buy SMC’s 700 MHz spectrum antenna for P60.1-B
The new antitrust body Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) pronounced on Friday that it would not approve the PLDT-Globe deal with SMC after a thorough review.
According to PLDT, the transaction with Vega Telecom Inc, the Telco business of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) was sealed on May 30, four days before the publication of the competition law’s implementation rules.
PLDT and Globe said in a separate statements that they filed the required transaction notices under the PCC guidelines so the regulator could no longer challenge the deal.
PCC on its statements says, “The review is intended to ensure that the transaction will, in the end, result in sustained gains for the public by not restricting competition,”
Pangilinan was in defense mode stressing that the government didn’t help in its investment and that if their projects fail, it won’t help them.
The 700Mhz Frequency Explained
The Philippines is one of the countries in Asia with the slowest internet speed ranking at 3rd place last year.
The major companies implementing the fourth generation of mobile communication standards (4G) are operating in frequency bands of 850, 1800, 2100.
Philippines frequencies are lacking the 700Mhz spectrum, which is important as it is operating at a lower wavelength able to penetrate on most household materials.
Consider that when your neighbor plays loud music using his bass speakers, what you hear thumping through your walls are those from the 700Mhz frequencies.
To make it simple, the 700Mhz band is able to penetrate to areas where 4G at higher frequencies cannot pass through, hence if you are in the building or within a walled environment (indoor), the 850/1800/2100 cannot easily give you data connections so you’ll end up with 3G or No Connectivity at all.
Far unreachable areas beyond 850MHz coverage can now be able to communicate via 4G using the 700Mhz frequency.
With PLDT and Globe having the 700Mhz antennas’ it won’t be sooner that a huge improvement in the mobile data experience would be felt.
However, analyst says the acquisition of the antennas wouldn’t lower the cost of the monthly payment plans for internet users. Experts believe that both PLDT and Globe would still have to recover the total cost of investment and that it would take years before a cheaper price could be seen.