MVP welcomes new competition in telco industry
MANILA, Philippines — Business tycoon Manuel Pangilinan is open to the entry of new players in the telecommunications industry, saying his group would not undertake any steps to prevent new competition in the market.
“We’re not averse to anyone coming in to the industry in whatever shape or form and competing against ourselves. I say that with all sincerity,” Pangilinan, chairman and CEO of telco giant PLDT Inc., said.
“They are welcome. This is a free economy and we’re not going to take any steps to oppose it because again we don’t want to be accused of maintaining this duopoly, etc. because they are tracing that to the poor internet service and complaints,” he added.
Pangilinan, however, warned potential new players entering the industry that “it doesn’t come cheap” as they cannot just be on one part of the telco ecosystem.
“All I’m saying is that you know, people have got to appreciate that in this new world of digital where telco is at the centerpiece of that world, you have to be an integrated institution. You may offer pieces of this services which is fine and maybe you can make money. So it’s up to the entrant what he wants to do,” he said.
Foreign telco players such as Australia’s Telstra Corp. Ltd. and China Telecommunications are reportedly interested in entering the Philippine market, which at present is dominated by Pangilinan’s PLDT and Globe Telecom of the Ayala Group.
President Duterte has been calling for a third telco player in the Philippines so that consumers can enjoy better mobile and internet service.
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), for its part, believes that both industry and the government can implement ways to improve the internet speed in the country.
“On PCC’s part, our role is to foster competition in the telecom market. This means opening up the market to more players and leveling the playing field between incumbents and entrants, between big and small players. This translates to more choices, better quality, and affordable services to consumers,” the competition watchdog said.
PLDT said it is ramping up investments in the coming years to improve its infrastructure network to better serve the Filipino people.
“Data usage is driving all our businesses and we recognize that superior infrastructure is a key variable to providing the best data experience. We are therefore stepping up our investments in the next few years to ensure that our customers – whether individuals or companies – enjoy that experience via whatever device they are on, wherever they may be,” PLDT chief revenue officer Ernesto Alberto said.