The Philippines’ telecoms watchdog the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) yesterday revealed plans to draw up new tender rules on the award of the country’s final 3G mobile licence. The NTC’s decision has been prompted by demand from a number of major telecoms companies to bid for the last available slot. NTC Deputy Commissioner Douglas Michael Mallillin is quoted as saying the agency will issue a new memorandum circular on 3G spectrum allocation in the wake of a booming domestic broadband market. Previously, the NTC employed a complex 30-point grading system, which ranked applicants in terms of financial standing, track record and technical expertise. Under the new rules Mallillin said the regulator will be keen to assess the ‘financial competence’ of telcos looking to participate in the auction.
In 2008 the NTC awarded 3G licences to PLDT’s mobile arm Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, Digitel Mobile Philippines (Sun Cellular) and Connectivity Unlimited Resources Enterprises (CURE, now Red Mobile). It turned down applications by Bayan Telecommunications, Pacific Wireless, Multimedia Telephony, Next Mobile and AZ Communications.