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Ten companies in Philippines race for third mobile licence

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A total of 10 companies are interested in bidding for the third mobile licence for the Philippines, with the latest, AMA Telecommunications, joining the race yesterday.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) the country’s regulator, has not identified all 10, as some have asked for confidentiality, but known competitors include China Telecom, Telenor of Norway and Philippine Telegraph and Telephone.

According to reports from Manila, Eliseo Rio, acting secretary of the country’s Department of Information and Communications Technology, will announce a provisional winner later in November – perhaps as early as 7 November, next Wednesday.

The winner will be licensed to compete against the two existing mobile operators in the Philippines, Globe Telecom and PLDT. The government announced it wanted a third mobile operator at the start of 2018.

All 10 have paid a million pesos ($18,785) as a non-returnable cost to acquire the selection documents.

Other bidders, according to media in Manila, are mainly from the Philippines: Converge ICT Solutions, NOW Telecom, Udenna and a consortium of LCS and TierOne Communications.

The ninth is Mobiltel Holding, an otherwise unknown company that is based in Vienna and, according to Austrian directories, is run by Werner Loibl, a lawyer, and Michael Hason, who appears to be a tax lawyer.

The NTC has not named the tenth bidder for the licence.

The latest entrant, AMA Telecommunications, won a 2016 licence to build and operate telecommunications systems in the Philippines.

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