The battle between rival Filipino telcos Smart Broadband and Globe Telecom is expected to intensify following the former’s successful allocation of new frequency bandwidth from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that allows Smart to offer triple-play service. The regulator has reportedly granted Smart Broadband 20MHz of spectrum in the 2.5GHz to 2.7GHz band. Until now Smart, the internet unit of Smart Communications, was the only telecommunications provider in the country without an allocation in the 2.5GHz to 2.7GHz band. Globe’s Innove Communications Inc unit itself holds 15MHz of spectrum in the same frequency band, while Liberty Telecommunications Holdings has 40MHz; Bayan Telecommunications Inc, 5MHz; Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc, 15MHz and e-Telco, 15MHz.
With the award of the additional frequency, Orlando Vea, Smart chief wireless advisor, said the company would be able to launch WiMAX as soon as ‘next week’. Earlier, the company acquired 100% control of Primeworld Digital Systems (PDSI), which holds 30MHz of bandwidth in the 2300MHz to 2400MHz that can be used to roll out WiMAX nationwide.