The Philippines' PLDT has officially returned its 3G spectrum acquired from Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises (Cure) to the government and waived all claims to compensation, Rappler reports.
PLDT agreed in 2011 to return the spectrum to regulator NTC as a condition of the approval of its merger with Digital. But part of this agreement would have entitled PLDT to monetary compensation to recoup its investments in Cure.
But the current government has balked at the suggestion that it should pay operators for returning spectrum to the government, with president Duterte having previously threatened to sic tax auditors on operators demanding such compensation for spectrum the government had previously allocated for free.
PLDT has now written to the regulator agreeing to waive its right to recover any and all costs of its investment in Cure and to complete its required divestment of the 10 MHz of 3G spectrum previously assigned to Cure.
With the return, the NTC will now be able to make the spectrum available to a new player to support the government's goal of introducing a third operator into the market, breaking the long-standing PLDT-Globe duopoly.