The Business Mirror writes that the country’s biggest telco, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), will surrender 3G mobile frequencies belonging to its Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises Inc (CURE, trading as Red Mobile) subsidiary, to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) by the end of this month. The paper quotes PLDT president Napoleon Nazareno as saying that the telco’s plans are running to schedule and that the spectrum will be relinquished by the month-end. Around 1.1 million of the unit’s 1.3 million-strong base has already been migrated over to sister firm Smart Communications, networks, he said. ‘We are almost there. It should be around 85% already,’ said Nazareno, adding that PLDT is now planning a ‘brand rationalisation’ to simplify its offerings. The group currently offers four mobile brands – Smart, Talk ‘N Txt, Red Mobile and Sun Cellular, the last-named being the brand of Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Digitel), the company its acquired in October last year.
Returning the 3G frequencies held by CURE was a key condition set by the NTC of PLDT’s takeover of Digitel. Under the plan, CURE will effectively sell its Red Mobile business to Smart, which will then sell all rights and interests in CURE, whose remaining assets will consist of its congressional franchise and its 10MHz 3G licence.