Oh, fourth telco you say… Keep dreaming!
In the Philippines, there are three major telecoms companies. These are Globe, PLDT, and the newest player, DITO (formerly Mislatel). Amidst of DITO’s processing, a new challenger called NOW Telecom has hit the scene. The company markets itself as the fourth telco available in the Philippines. The PSE has fined them for such a claim and the DICT said that their claims were not legit.
A complaint filed on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) wants NOW Corp’s frequencies recalled over its outlandish claims of being the fourth telco. It is a 22-page complaint that was filed by Mirzilyn Abarabar, Marlowe Zarate, and Maira Veronica Aquino, who all said that they are taxpayers coming from Pangasinan. The complaints also contained contents urging the NTC to recall frequencies assigned to NOW Telecom for non-payment of Spectrum User Fees (SUF)
The supposed fourth telco wasn’t able to fulfill its promise to the public, and despite of having several chances, has made “no developments outside of Metro Manila much more any improvements made in Metro Manila”.
The three complainants claimed that “NOW Telecom never operated in Pangasinan nor in Baguio City”.
“Neither signal towers were installed nor [a] physical office was established by the respondent not only in the Complainants’ localities but also in their other areas of operations,” the complaint read.
Also, the complainants also said that despite the company’s projections, only about 10 stations in six sites were installed, out of the total 2,036 stations in 245 sites.
The complainants also claimed that NOW Telecom was only getting funding from its publicly listed company “NOW Corp” based on the latest financial audits. Even then, the listed company has no license to operate in the country as a telecommunications service. They also added that the company is dodging the SUF payments, which is needed by the government to implement the Free Internet Access in Public Places Act.
Referring to the Public Telecommunications Policy, the complainants said that the “payment of the required SUF is one of the conditions contained in practically all the CPCNs/PAs issued by the NTC as also required by RA 7925”. In addition to this, they demanded that sanctions and penalties be applied to NOW Telecom for these discrepancies.
Source: The Manila Times