DICT cracks down on hoarders of mobile frequencies

MANILA — The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has warned that it will not tolerate the hoarding of frequencies which might compromise the quality of mobile communications in the country.

DICT Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said a recent audit of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) showed that a number of establishments have not been using or paying the required fees for their frequency spectrums.

“We reiterate that warehousing of spectrums will not be allowed for speculative purposes. Frequencies should only be necessary for their operations. Enough frequencies should be allocated to new players in the telco industry,” Salalima said during the media briefing for the first Philippine Telecommunications Summit held Wednesday in Quezon City.

For his part, DICT Undersecretary Jorge Sarmiento said there is enough number of unassigned frequencies that may be allocated to a third or fourth player in the local telco industry based on the study of the NTC.

Data from the NTC showed that unused frequencies are held by Sears Telecoms (410 MHz); Teodoro N. Romasanta, Inc.(TNRI) and Twilight (700 MHz); RBC, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, Uniden Philippines, Inc., Liberty Broadcasting Network, Inc. (LBNI), Worldwide Comms., Inc., (800 MHz) and Bayantel (2500 MHz); Easy Call Communications Philippines, Inc.; AZ Comm; Multimedia Telephony, Inc., Broadband Everywhere Corp.; and Radio Marine Network, Inc. (3400 MHz); and TN Rosanna and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) (10 Gigahertz).

Furthermore, Sears, MMDA, TNRI, Trilight, RBC, Uniden, LBNI, Worldwide Comms., Inc., have unpaid spectrum user fees.

DICT Sec. Salalima said the NTC has the right to recall frequencies for reassignment to existing telco companies or bid them out to new players.

NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba has earlier said the agency aims to conduct an auction of unused and unassigned frequencies by the middle of the year as it seeks to open the telco industry to new mobile service providers.

Cordoba said several telco companies have expressed interest in bidding for the unassigned frequencies. AEROL PATENA/PNA-northboundasia.com