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DICT emphasizes the need for 3rd telco player

There is a pressing need for a third telecommunications service provider in the country, a third industry player to improve the service, pricing and coverage mas soon as possible, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said on Thursday.

"Do we need more competition in the telecom industry in our country? Yes, the soonest the best for the consumers in terms of better service, greater coverage and more affordable pricings," Information and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima said in his speech at the Philippine Telecoms Summit 2017.

Australian giant Telstra Corp. Ltd. was negotiating a partnership deal with San Miguel Corp., the largest diversified conglomerate in the Philippines, for a possible joint venture in telecommunications in 2015.

Negotiations, however, were scrapped after both companies failed to agree on a structure for equity investment.

It was probably the farthest stage of development the country has seen in terms of a third player in the telecom industry in recent history.

A few months later, leading industry players PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. bought out the telecom business of San Miguel Corp. in a co-acquisition deal.

Salalima said the country is open to having more industry players.

"If any local franchisee wants to be the third or fourth operator of consequence in this country, bring in a foreign partner with the legal, technical and financial credibility and capacity to mount a credible and effective competition against the existing telcos," he said.

"I welcome you. This government welcomes you with open arms. You are most welcome in the service of the Filipino," he added. — VDS, GMA News