Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Thursday, September 18, 2008

PLDT aims for dominance in RP's telecom industry

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and its subsidiary Mabuhay Satellite Corporation (Mabuhay) have inked several agreements with a Bermuda company.

The agreement aims to further enhance PLDT's dominance in the country's telecom industry.

PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan said: "PLDT's investment in ProtoStar Ltd. affirms PLDT's commitment to the telecommunications industry and provides a platform for future growth in the industry through one of Asia's upcoming regional satellite operators."

He said the agreement will cover among others an exchange of certain Mabuhay assets for an equity position in ProtoStar; expanded use of Mabuhay's Subic Space Center for the operation and control of satellites; an option for PLDT to make further investments in ProtoStar; and an agreement for PLDT to lease C-band transponder capacity on ProtoStar's recently launched ProtoStar I satellite.

"Overall, the agreements should enhance ProtoStar's pan-Asian reach while extending Mabuhay's presence in the region," Pangilinan added.

Napoleon Nazareno, chairman of Mabuhay, noted that "PLDT and Mabuhay's collaboration with ProtoStar will enable PLDT to enjoy full diversity and protection for its satellite needs as ProtoStar continues with its satellite fleet expansion plans.

The PLDT group uses significant satellite capacity for its GSM backhaul requirements for its rural cell sites, and this diversification will add to the robustness of the PLDT Group's network."

"We are happy that ProtoStar has found value in Mabuhay's Satellite Telemetry, Tracking and Control capabilities which have been built through our experience in ably operating the Agila-2 satellite. This collaboration with ProtoStar ushers Philippine satellite operations into a new era of growth," he said.

ProtoStar Ltd. is an Asian satellite services operator that was formed to acquire, launch and operate high-power geostationary satellites to lease capacity to Asian DTH (direct-to-home) and broadband service providers.

Launched on July 7, 2008 in Kourou, French Guiana, ProtoStar I has on board 22 Ku-band transponders and 38 C-band transponders (all 36Mhz equivalents).

The Ku-band transponders will support the rapidly expanding DTH television markets of India and IndoChina, while the C-band transponders will serve the rapidly growing cellular phone markets of Southeast Asia.

A transponder is a wireless communications or control device that picks up and responds to an incoming signal.

Philip Father, president of ProtoStar Ltd., said, "This collaboration represents a win-win for PLDT, Mabuhay and ProtoStar in that together we expand our satellite fleets and customer base as well as our ground systems in a value-adding strategic manner that is terrific for our respective customers and shareholders."

Father said a ProtoStar II satellite is now in its final manufacturing stages with a scheduled launch in the spring of 2009.

ProtoStar plans to develop and launch several other satellites in the coming years to serve Asia's businesses requiring transponder capacity. (MSN/Sunnex)

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