DICT chief defends beauty contest model for third telco pick

telecomasia.net

The Philippines’ acting Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) secretary Eliseo M. Rio has defended his position of preferring to select the market’s third telco based on highest-committed level of service criteria rather than through an auction model.

Rio told the Philippines Business Mirror that the nation will gain more from using the proposed selection criteria than it would profit through an auction.

The oversight committee established by president Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the selection of the nation’s third major telco player is expected to decide on Friday which model to use for the process.

The choices are between the beauty contest style selection that would use the highest committed level of service as its criteria favored by the DICT and the spectrum auction model being pushed by the Department of Finance.

Draft terms of a prospective auction would set a floor price of 36.58 billion pesos ($684.5 million) for a total of 225MHz of spectrum across the 700-MHz, 2100-MHz, 2.5-GHz, 3.3-GHz, and 3.5-GHz bands.

But an informal survey of prospective bidders released by the DICT last week indicated that three in four would prefer the beauty contest model, with just 17% favoring an auction.

The selection process forms part of Duterte’s plan to introduce new competition into the market, which is dominated by incumbents Globe and PLDT.

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