Philippines

Duterte threat seen to speed up network rollout of telcos

Telco giants Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. are seen to further boost their network expansion efforts following President Rodrigo Duterte’s shutdown threat.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The international credit ratings agency said the current dominant players would be forced to up their game or face President Duterte’s ire.

“The government’s push for significant network improvements — recently reiterated by President Duterte at the annual state of nation address — is likely to accelerate network expansion over the next few quarters,” it said in a statement on Friday.

The country’s top official said last July 27 that Globe and PLDT have until the end of the year to improve their service or he would explore every way to stop their operations.
Both groups have stated they would heed the call of the President.

Globe said in a previous statement it has been shelling out multi-billion dollar investment to bolster its network, but issues on red tape continue to haunt its expansion.

The same sentiments have been expressed by PLDT chief Manuel Pangilinan. For this year, PLDT is spending P70 billion to help finance its accelerated network buildup.

For 2021, Fitch Ratings said both companies may further cough up higher capital expenditures to continue their massive network projects and be ready for the entry of new challenger Dito Telecommunity and Converge ICT Solutions’ boosted broadband reach.

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