Bidding rules for PLDT’s spare 3G frequency out next week – NTC

The National Telecommunications is set to issue the rules for bidding out the 3G frequency surrendered earlier by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co (PLDT).

“We are in the final stages of finishing the TOR. We are just settling some items. Most likely, we can issue the [TOR] next week,” NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said, referring to the terms of referrence.

The third-generation (3G) frequency that the NTC will bid out belonged to Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprise Inc (CURE), which it had to give up as a condition to the regulator’s approval of the PLDT group’s acquisition of Sun Cellular operator Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc.

Globe Telecom and San Miguel Corp earlier expressed interest in bidding for CURE’s 3G frequency, which can help expand their broadband offerings.

The PLDT group acquired the 10-megahertz 3G frequency when the telecom giant bought CURE from former trade minister Robrerto Ongpin for P419.54 million in 2008. CURE operates the Red Mobile brand.

Edgardo Cabarios, NTC Common Carrier and Authorization Department director, had said the auction will most likely be a “sealed bid,” with the regulator setting a “floor price” to recover the investment of the PLDT group in CURE.

The PLDT group had informed the NTC that its investment reached P2.125-billion, including advances from Smart Communications Inc and stockholders.

Besides CURE, Smart also has 15 megahertz of 3G frequency; Globe, 10; and Sun Cellular, 10.

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