10 January 2012

SubicTel opposes wi-tribe petition

A WHOLLY owned subsidiary of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) wants the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to deny the application of San Miguel Corp.’s telecom unit to offer broadband services in the areas within the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

In a filing with the NTC, Subic Telecom said that the feasibility study done by wi-tribe Telecoms Inc. does not establish its legal capacity to the propose broadband services in its target market.

“The study does not show that wi-tribe is financially capable to operate the proposed wireless broadband service and that is economically viable and feasible for it to operate within the Subic Special Economic Zone,” Subictel said.

It added that the technical study and report of wi-tribe is essentially based on conjuncture and wish lists.

“The figures are not based on actual existing data. Wi-Tribe, a new player in the telecommunication industry simply does not have the figures to support its claims,” Subictel said.

“Nowhere is it established that the Subic Economic Zone may absorb a new market entrant. It certainly does not establish compliance with any jurisdiction requirements,” the PLDT affiliate added.

At present, Subictel is providing digital subscriber line (DSL) and other broadband services in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Olongapo City and Subic town areas.

Documents filed with the NTC showed that Wi-Tribe plans to spend P354 million for the proposed wireless broadband service in the Subic Special Economic Zone (SSEZ) for over a period of five years.

Wi-Tribe estimated an annual broadband subscribers of 15,484 for year five of operation.

The perceived market size of the SSEZ Internet market is 47,506 based on 2007,2009 and 2010 historical figure.

The SSEZ includes Olongapo City, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Municipalities of Subic, Zambales, Hemosa and Morong in Bataan.

The pricing options to be offered to the SSEZ potential customers are Plan 598 for 512 kbps; Plan 998 for 1mbps and Plan 1998 for 2mbps.

Wi-Tribe said the schedule for roll out will start this year depending on the issuance of all permits required from the local and national governing agencies.

For initial roll out, Wi-Tribe said the current frequency assigned to the company on the 2.5Ghz and 700 MHz nationwide will be used.

In SSEZ, Wi-Tribe will be deploying 75 sites using 2.5 Ghz frequency at 5 Mhz, or 10Mhz channel. bandwidth. (Darwin G. Amojelar, The Manila Times)