The National Telecommunications Commission is inviting local and foreign telecommunication companies to submit bids for the right to become the third major player in the country on Nov. 5 this year.
Under the final terms of reference issued by NTC and the Department of Information Communications and Technology, the potential bidders will be chosen based on the highest committed level of service for over a period of five years.
The three criteria are national population coverage with a weight of 40 percent, minimum average broadband speed of 25 percent and capital and operating expenditure with 35 percent.
The rules stated that the minimum population coverage for the first year should be 10 percent, a figure that should reach 50 percent in the fifth year.
The new player is expected to invest a minimum of P40 billion in the first year and P140 billion in five years.
The selection committee will use a point system based on the documents submitted by the potential players.
The bidders should post a participation fee of P700 million, or equivalent to 0.5 percent of the minimum capital and operational expenditure at the end of the commitment period.
NTC commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba told reporters the rules would take effect on Oct. 6 and the bid documents could be purchased for P1 million each from the agency.
“Interested bidders should really work double time,” he said.
He said the submission and opening of bids would be set on Nov. 5. After the evaluation of the documents of the highest bidders, which include the roll-out plans, the new major player is expected to be identified in December this year.
Acting DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio earlier said China Telecom, LG Uplus Corp., Korea Telecom, Vietnam Telecom, AT&T, Telenor [of Norway] and a Japanese telco company expressed interest to join the bidding.
Local telco players that were also keen on joining the selection process included Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp., Converge ICT, Transpacific Broadband Group Inc., EasyCall Communications Phils. Inc. and TierOne.
The NTC will assign the frequencies 700 megahertz, 850 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2010 MHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.3 GHz, 3.5 GHz and 10.5 GHz to the new major player.
The entry of new major player in the Philippine market was a mandate given by President Rodrigo Duterte to DICT to address the paramount national interest on the quality of internet connection in the country.