The Philippines' Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) plans to hold a “beauty contest” next year to select a third telecoms player to break the PLDT-Globe duopoly.
The department aims to identify operators interested in becoming the market's third operator this year, and commence the selection process by next year, Malaya Business Insight reported.
Interested companies will be graded based on track record, financial capability and technical knowledge.
The DICT is going with a beauty contest rather than a conventional auction model in part because it would be unfair to the new player to be required to pay up front for the required spectrum given that PLDT and Globe never underwent an auction process for the frequencies they acquired, the report states.
The department has also hinted at the potential for another license to be granted to a fourth player. There is a total of 85 MHz of spectrum available for new market entrants across the 800-MHz, 2300-MHz, 2500-MHz and 2600-MHz band, as well as 20 MHz in the prized 700-MHz band.
Companies including Philippine Telegraph & Telephone, state-owned company TransCo, Now Corp and Converge ICT Solution have indicated their interest in becoming the market's third operator. Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte also recently approached China with the offer to take the third operator slot.