Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Rival telcos set sight on Subic to challenge PLDT's dominance

Telecommunications firms Globe Telecom, Inc., and Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. (Bayantel) are eyeing to deploy their own communications infrastructure in Subic Bay, Zambales, a move that challenges the dominance of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company in the said area.

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has already received applications from the two firms in a bid to support the demands of business process outsourcing (BPO) firms that are locating in the economic zone.

SBMA marketing and business development head Noli B. Manuel told BusinessWorld Online in an interview that Globe's wholly owned wireline subsidiary Innove Communications Inc. has submitted last week its proposal to build a facility inside the SBMA.

Innove's proposal to locate will challenge Subic Telecommunications Company Inc. (SubicTel), the lone telecommunications provider in the area to date. SubicTel is a wholly owned subsidiary of PLDT.

SubicTel started as a joint venture among PLDT, AT&T and SBMA until PLDT acquired its full share in 2001.

Mr. Manuel said that aside from Innove, Lopez-owned Bayantel has also applied for the certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) from the National Telecommunications Commission.

CPCN is a license that allows telecommunication firms to operate international gateway facilities (IGF). And since CPCN measures the firms' capacity to handle international accounts, the license is also an assurance from prospective investors of their continued service.

Mr. Manuel explained that expanding the telecommunications offerings in the SBMA is one of the requirements of the BPO firms that plan to locate in the area. BPO firms require at least two service providers to support their operations.

Some of the potential call center firms that have already done business exploration such as location survey in SBMA are United States based Convergys Corporation, Lopez-owned C3 or C-Cube, Ambergis Solution and Stream International.

Moreover, Mr. Manuel said SBMA is now targeting to host turn-around satellite switches for Pakistan and Afghanistan. These switches will receive and transfer signal to Europe and the United States.

Mr. Manuel explained that the two countries don't have the viable location to transport broadcast to Europe and the United States. Investors and partners from the two countries are now applying for CPCN.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

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