Philippines to crack down on spectrum hoarding

telecomasia.net

The Philippines' Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) plans to crack down on spectrum hoarders, threatening to recall unused frequencies and potentially auction them to a third or even fourth local player.

A recent audit of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) shows that a number of companies are not using the spectrum that has been assigned to them, and many of these have unpaid spectrum usage fees owing.

In response, the government plans to ask these companies to explain their lack of use or their non payment of spectrum fees, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. In cases where it is deemed warranted, the government plans to initiate recall procedures for the spectrum. The report cites DICT undersecretary Jorge Sarmiento as stating that there is enough unused spectrum in the Philippines' airspace to allocate to a third or even fourth player.

The NTC is preparing to hold a new entrant spectrum auction by the middle of the year, as part of efforts to attract new competition to break up the Globe-PLDT duopoly.

The ministry is also under pressure to resolve consumer complaints about the quality of internet services in the Philippines, and recently announced it will hold a “no-holds-barred” summit to address these concerns.

The audit shows that spectrum has been allocated but is not in use in the 400-MHz, 700-MHz, 800-MHz, 2500-MHz, 3.4-GHz and 10-GHz bands.

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