A fourth challenger appears
Aside from Dito Telecommunity Corporation (formerly known as Mislatel), there’s another telco in town that has the potential of challenging the duopoly of Smart and Globe.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) extended the license to offer mobile network services of NOW Telecom Company, Inc., which means the company can now offer mobile data, voice calls and text messages to customers nationwide.
Previously the 17th Congress officially renewed NOW Telecom’s franchise via a law signed on February last year. The company first secured a franchise back in 1992, when they were still called Infocom Communications Network, Inc.
With the extended license, NOW Telecom Company, Inc. can now(heh) put up cell networks and necessary infrastructure for mobile internet and other services, putting them in direct competition with Smart, Globe and newly minted Dito Telecommunity Corporation, if they so choose.
“We have been providing guaranteed broadband to enterprises, including the government sector. We reiterate our belief that at present, there is an insufficiency in telecommunications facilities that can effectively address the needs for day-to-day real-time operations and at the same time provide disaster mitigation during times of emergencies,” NOW Telecom President Rodolfo Pantoja said in a statement Monday.
But don’t expect to have a NOW-powered smartphone anytime soon – building up a cellular network is a long, and expensive process, and even Dito Telecommunity Corporation is taking its sweet, sweet time, despite having the backing of Petroleum magnate Dennis Uy and the support of China Telecom.