Third Telco Coming Soon?
Telstra, the largest telecom provider in Australia, is in talks with San Miguel Corporation to enter the Philippines to challenge Smart Communications and Globe Telecom. The joint venture discussions between the two companies are in advanced stages and have been going on for several months already. The investment from Telstra would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Why San Miguel? They basically have the spectrum assets and the ability to do business in the Philippines. Telstra would bring the technical and engineering know-how while San Miguel can navigate the local business landscape. Telstra sees a lot of potential in the Philippines because of the “lack of high-speed 4G services” which they claim just reaches 5 percent of the market.
To move forward though the new JV company will need to go on a very aggressive hiring and pirating push. San Miguel’s Liberty Telecom which operates Wi-Tribe was a massive failure as it wasn’t able to grab significant market share from either telco. The reviews of their services have also been abysmal.
The expansion of Telstra in the region is not new as they have already made big inroads in Indonesia with their JV with Telkom Indonesia. The success they’ve had there is probably one of the main sources of confidence they have in trying to enter the Philippine market.
Globe has already responded by saying “bring it on”. We’ve sent a request to Smart asking for their comment. We’ll edit this article as soon as we get a statement from them.