Murky Philippine telco regulations and fierce incumbents significant obstacles for third player

22 June 2016 - 12:00 am UTC

The murky set of regulations governing spectrum frequencies in the Philippines is the biggest hindrance to a third player breaking the telecom duopoly that is perceived in the country, sources familiar with the industry told this news service.

The presence of the two very strong players – Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co [PSE:TEL], a unit of First Pacific Co Ltd [HKSE:142], and Ayala Corp [PSE:AC] subsidiary, Globe Telecoms [PSE:GLO]–that have links and influence within the government also acts as a deterrent, the first source said.

Telecom and internet consumers in the Philippines are clamoring for better services and consumer groups have called for an end to duopoly in the sector. These groups have said consumers have to contend with slow internet speeds and poor mobile connections through the two incumbents.

This issue comes into the forefront given an upcoming merger review by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on an acquisition by Globe and PLDT.