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Globe, PLDT may have violated the PCC competition law, but tycoon MVP says Gov't must get out of the way

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Get out of the way.
That’s how the government can help Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) succeed in its multibillion-peso digital shift, the company’s chair, Manuel V. Pangilinan, said.
Speaking to provincial journalists whom PLDT invited to Makati City for its annual stockholders meeting on Tuesday, Pangilinan said the company’s digital shift was likely to succeed if the government would not meddle too much.

Some people, including people from the government, do not understand the implementation of major infrastructure needed to transform PLDT and Smart’s services into digital, and they could block the huge project, expected to be operational by 2018, because of lack of understanding of it, Pangilinan said.

He said people from the government could help by not dipping their hands too much into the project.
“The government’s share is to get out of the way,” he said.

We now have access to additional frequencies including 700MHz.
This bring stronger internet to all soon." He said consumers should feel the effects of the deal within six months. This will be limited to those using high-end devices, since mobile devices that allow the use of the spectrum is still small.

On a separate Press briefing Globe Telecom also announce additional frequencies within 700MHz spectrum.

Smart Communications Inc. fired up the first three cell site supporting the 700MHz frequency (4G Extended)

Peering system of both networks users to directly connect
Under a memorandum of agreement, PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. have agreed to use a bilateral internet protocol peering system.
The peering system will allow the users of both networks to directly connect with each other instead of going through other external internet networks which slows the process of data transfer.

“By keeping local traffic local, we improve the internet experience of both PLDT and Globe subscribers,” PLDT Executive Vice President Ernesto Alberto said.

The agreement also mandates the telcos to work towards executing a "fuller" bilateral peering agreement within 90 days after the initial phase has been accepted.

“This is a very positive development and is in line with our digital pivot. We are focused on taking effective measures to improve internet services in the country. IP peering is one such measure.  By keeping local traffic local, we improve the internet experience of both PLDT and Globe subscribers,” PLDT Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise Ernesto Alberto said. 

“The intention here is to keep local traffic within the country which should lower latency due (Ping) to less hops and thus, should result in marked improvements in fixed broadband and mobile internet services in the country,” he added.

Globe, PLDT May Have Violated The Competition Law
Provisions of the Philippine Competition Act may have been violated by telcos involved in the P69.1-billion acquisition deal for the telecom business of San Miguel Corporation, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said on Monday.

Globe Telecom Inc. and PLDT Inc. may have failed to comply with the guidelines of the PCA, the commission said.

Citing Section 17 of the Philippine Competition Act (PCA), the PCC noted "an agreement consummated in violation of this requirement to notify the Commission shall be considered void and subject the parties to an administrative fine of one percent (1%) to five percent (5%) of the value of the transaction."

Over the weekend, the anti-trust watchdog rejected the initial notice filed by PLDT and Globe, noting it was "deficient and defective in form and substance..." effectively making the transaction not "deemed approved" by the commission.

The companies, however, maintained that the transaction was made final on grounds that the notice sent to the commission did not contain any false information. Globe and PLDT claimed it was the only premise for disapproval.
The PCC emphasized it has not yet reviewed and approved the transaction.

"The PCC denied their initial filing which was found to be defective and deficient. It is now up to the parties whether or not to comply," the commission said.

"The PCC cannot further comment on the transaction because we have returned the parties' submissions for non-compliance. As of this time therefore, there is no Notice for the PCC to review. We emphasize that the transactions have not been deemed approved,

Open For New Competition
The announcement of the PLDT-Globe deal came after President-elect Rodrigo Duterte warned the two companies in May that he would open the Philippines to foreign telcos if they failed to improve their internet services.
With an average household download speed of 3.64 Mbps, the Philippines ranks 176th among 202 countries surveyed last year by internet metrics provider Ookla.
The local download speed is eight times slower than the global average broadband download speed of 23.3 Mbps.
In Asia, the Philippines has the second-slowest internet speed. Among 22 Asian countries studied by Ookla, the Philippines has a download speed just a tad faster than bottom-dweller Afghanistan.
Despite its slowness, internet service in the Philippines is expensive, $18.19 per Mbps compared with the global average of $5.21.

source: Inquirer, GMA News,

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