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Telecommunications: Revitalizing telecom industry by enhancing competition

By Lynda B. Valencia

 

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to revitalize the telecommunications industry by enhancing competition.

This was disclosed by DOTC Secretary Vicente Rivera, Jr. during the launching of the Telecom infrastructure Corp. of the Philippines (TelicPhil) National Digital Transmission Network (NDTN) at studio I of ABS, CBN in Quezon City.

Rivera said, "today, we are witnessing the birth of a fully competitive telecoms industry. We have now gone beyond mere platitudes about the desirability of a free market in the telecoms industry.'

Rivera recently switched on the $70 million nationwide network of TelicPhil, a consortium composed of several phone companies.

He said that having another telecommunications network operating in the country will ensure competition, better efficiency, lower prices and better services.

'The country does not need nine new national backbones. We just need one more to compete and complement the existing one managed by PLDT and the one which the government is putting up," Rivera said.

During the launching, Rivera stated the policy of the Estrada administration which are as follows: first, to ensure that the industry remains highly competitive but viable, that is the assurance of a level playing field; second, to encourage the EO 109 participants to seriously consider mergers or consolidations; and third, the full support to the concept of universal access through interconnection.

The 2,762-kilometer TelicPhil's network of fiber-optic cables and microwave stations constructed by Fujitsu Ltd. and Alcatel Alsthom of France will initially have the capacity to handle 30,000 simultaneous calls.

The project will have two operating centers for the entire network. It is composed of the microwave radio segment, submarine line and the land cable portion.

TelicPhil president Primitivo Penaranda, Jr. said the operation of its own digital network will facilitate transmission in the local exchange and long distance calls can be made more efficiently.

TelicPhil is composed of Bayan Telecommunictions Holdings Corp., (BayanTel), Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc., (ETPI), Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Inc., Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. Express Telecommunications, Inc. (Extelcom); and Digital Telecommunications Philippines, Inc. (Digitel). (PNA) JE/LBV/aav

 


Copyright 1999 by Lynda B. Valencia

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