China Telecom Could Become the Third Telecoms Player of the Philippines

By Presidential Communications Operations Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday, officials of the Southeast Asian nation said that the state-run China Telecom Corp could become the third telecoms player of the Philippines, as the government regards to stir up competition in an attempt to boost notably poor services.

Last month, Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, offered China the “privilege” of challenging a longstanding duopoly that has frustrated consumers due to slow and intermittent mobile and internet phone services.

The Secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Eliseo Rio, informed Reuters: “The Chinese government selected China Telecom to invest in the Philippines upon invitation by President Duterte during the bilateral meeting last Nov. 16.”

Chinese companies are not able to operate alone in the Philippines and would be required to partner with a local company.

Rio said that the government is currently looking at who will be able to partner with China Telecom on a 60-40 basis.

The 40 percent cap of the Philippine constitution on foreign ownership of domestic telecoms companies has retained interest from multinationals at bay in the market of over 100 million people. Martin Andanar, the Presidential Communications Secretary, said that the state-owned Chinese company should partner with a reliable Philippines company that has an existing telecoms franchise.

In a radio interview on Sunday, Andanar said: “The government is fast-tracking this because consumers are getting annoyed with dropped calls and slow internet connections.”

The Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp is also attempting to be a major player. It had said that it was talking with Datang Telecom and China Telecom regarding strategic partnerships to challenge the dominant duo of Globe Telecom Inc and PLDT Inc of the nation.