Reconciling business, necessary service – DICT

HAVING more players in the telecommunications industry could be both good and bad, says new Information and Communications Secretary Ivan Uy.

During a recent interview with The Manila Times, Uy explained that more players may mean the prices for the service will be cheaper since many will be bidding. There will also be various promotions that will be made available to consumers.

The service, however, could decline or not live up to what the public expects and this could also discourage telecommunications players.

“We have to strike a balance between competition and business viability,” he said.

Also, even though there is a lot of competition, the prices go down. But sometimes the service is high, sometimes the quality is bad.

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Uy said businessmen might rethink the telecommunications industry if there were too many players.

He explained that profitability might be low and if so, they might pull out. Thus, having a moderate profit is reasonable without compromising on quality and it is not too expensive.

Uy also supports the government’s plan to implement a common tower policy, a move that is expected to speed up the construction of more communications towers across the country and reduce operational costs for telecom companies.

Earlier, businessman and presidential adviser for economic affairs and information technology, Ramon Jacinto, said the plan responds to the difficulties faced by Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. in obtaining permits for such rounds.

At a recent forum, DICT Undersecretary for the Digital Philippines, Maria Victoria Castro, outlined the agency’s plans to improve the country’s digital economy. Plans included common tower policy, regulations for in-building solutions, fiber licensing and spectrum management.

Castro highlighted the need to upgrade ICT infrastructure such as cellular towers to boost internet connectivity and meet growing data demand as online users increase.

She thinks the common tower policy will encourage telcos and internet service providers to share cell towers.

More cell towers had to be built as demand for internet connections started to increase in 2020.

The director of the National Telecommunications Commission, Imelda Reonique Walcien, said that building more towers will also help promote the digital competitiveness of companies.

For Uy, the common towers will best serve the public.

“We need common towers where we will see more conducive and better mobile phone service,” he said.

Uy plans to meet with major companies Globe Telecoms, Smart Communications and DITO Telecommunity about the use of a joint tower once he takes office.

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