The Philippines’ second largest telecoms operator by subscribers, Globe Telecom, now holds the highest amount of frequencies in the 2.5GHz-2.7GHz range in the country. Local paper the BusinessMirror says Globe’s position is a result of the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC’s) recent decision to allow Altimax Broadcasting Company Inc – the broadcasting firm acquired by the telco’s retirement fund group last year – to operate again despite protests from other telecoms operators. Globe’s 100%-owned subsidiary Innove Communications has been allocated 15MHz of spectrum which are now being used for broadband wireless access, specifically for WiMAX, on top of which, it will soon be able to utilise the 30MHz of spectrum owned by Altimax Broadcasting. Altimax was partly acquired by Bethlehem Holdings Inc (BHI) an investee of the Globe Group of Retirement Fund through the latter’s holding company, HALO Holdings. The broadcaster was originally assigned 48MHz of frequencies (2596MHz-2644MHz) but they were revoked in 2008 when the NTC ruled it had failed to use its permit to roll out and operate a Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) service. However, last week the regulator renewed Altimax’s provisional authority (PA) to offer services until 29 June 2012 after, ‘taking into consideration the recent developments,’ including the arrival of a new investor which it said justifies the grant of Altimax’s motion for extension of renewal of its PA.’
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