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Sen. Ejercito highlights the need for a third telco player in the Philippines

Adrian M. Reodique | Feb. 23, 2017
“We should let in a third player to encourage competition and to avoid possible collusion in expensive cellphone services," said Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito.

[Updated on 24 February 2017 at 09:30 (GMT +08:00) to include Globe's comments on the potential entry of a third telco player in the Philippines. Smart Communications has yet to comment on the matter.] 

Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito has suggested the need for a third telecommunications player to encourage competition, which may help improve the telco services in the Philippines. 

"It is also high time that we put a stop on the duopoly of Smart and Globe in the telecommunications industry. We should let in a third player to encourage competition and to avoid possible collusion in expensive cellphone services," said Ejercito in a press release.

Ejercito made the remarks days after the first hearing on the Senate Bill No. 1302. Authored by Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, the bill aims to extend Smart's franchise for another 25 years.

Ejercito said that he will get Smart to improve its services for the next five to 10 years. He added that the extension of the company's franchise could have been easily renewed if it had refined its services.

"Otherwise, if we just approve Smart's franchise without raising these issues, we will continue to avail poor services," he explained. 

Meanwhile, Globe said they are ready to deal with the potential entry of a third player in the telco field. 

 "[Our] strategy has been to focus on our network, making sure we deliver what our customers want and we will continue to build out and optimise capacities. This strategy has allowed us to compete successfully with a much larger and well-funded incumbent and will enable us to compete with an upstart," Yoly Crisanto, Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications, told Computerworld Philippines

Crisanto also underscored their company's efforts to improve its services and customer experience, such as expansion of network capacities."In 2016, our total capex stood at about P36.7 billion (or approximately US$772 million), 14 percent higher than last year's level of P32.1 billion. This year, the company's new cash capital expenditures are programmed to be approximately $750 million. Majority of it will be related to data including spend for deployments of LTE mobile and LTE @Home, increased network capacities and coverage, modernisation of fixed line data infrastructure for corporates and transmission facilities," she explained. 


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