The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) has granted Bell Telecommunication (BellTel) an extension to its operating licence to provide cellular mobile telephone system (CMTS) services in the country for a further three-year period which would give the telco some more time to expand its national network to prepare for the launch of mobile services.
I’m sure most of you will say “BellTel who?”. This telco is owned and managed by San Miguel Corporation.
Bell Telecommunication Philippines, Inc. (BellTel) is a full-service telecommunications company that began its commercial operations in January 2002. It is authorized to provide the full range of services throughout the Philippines, giving it access to all the central business districts (CBD) where 70% of the country’s commerce is transacted and special economic zones (SEZs) established under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority Law.
San Miguel already have three telcos under its wing: Liberty telecoms, Eastern Telecoms, and Bell Telecoms.
San Miguel’s fledgling telecommunications business has seen the addition of Bell Telecommunications Philippines, Inc., our second telecoms platform after Liberty Telecommunications Holdings, Inc. Bell Tel will give San Miguel entry into the wireless voice, data and video connectivity business, expanding the scope of the company’s telecom offerings. At present, Liberty has signed on an estimated 70,000 subscribers to its internet broadband and WiMAX services. In December 2010, San Miguel acquired a stake in Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc.
They’ll be able to use the frequency given to their three telcos to offer voice, data, broadband, and better 4G services to subscribers. Because San Miguel has a BIG reputation to take care of, I don’t think they’ll be like Digitel when they first rolled out Sun Cellular, getting and accepting subscribers even though the network can’t handle it anymore.
I really hope we can have a third telco in the market soon. Soon means 3 years from now.
UPDATE: From ABS-CBN News
BellTel is expected to commercially launch its mobile phone service on June 13, 2013. It was granted a five-year rollout period commencing January 2012 with commercial operations expected to commence 18 months thereafter, or in June next year.
BellTel first received its PA in October 2007, which was valid until April 2009. The NTC later renewed the permit but the phone firm was not able to offer the service during the two-year period because it did not have the frequencies to offer such service. It was only in May 2011 when the NTC assigned BellTel CMTS frequencies in the 1710-1720 megahertz (MHz)-1805-1815 bandwidth for its mobile phone service.
The company is in the process of soliciting proposals from equipment and software vendors for the various components of its cellular network. “BellTel has requested pertinent information from equipment and software vendors on the components of its CMTS network. It is projected to then issue requests for proposals on the said network components, bid out and subsequently award the requisite contracts therefore, and thereby get its CMTS network rollout underway,” said BellTel.
The company said it is “almost finished with its organizational buildup and has nearly completed filling in all of its component departments.”