normal_post - GLOBE, PLDT-SMART,BAYANTEL DIGITEL may fall to the NEW LIBERTY WI-MAX - Technology Author Topic: GLOBE, PLDT-SMART,BAYANTEL DIGITEL may fall to the NEW LIBERTY WI-MAX  (Read 4857 times)

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source:The Manila Times Internet Edition | OPINION > Telco battle royale
Saturday, December 20, 2008


VIRTUAL REALITY
By Tony Lopez
Telco battle royale



The San Miguel group is going into the telecom business in a big way. It is acquiring majority of once dormant telco Liberty Telecoms and has tied up with Qatar Telecom to backstop its foray into wireless telephony.

Liberty will provide the franchise and the broadband licenses. QTel, majority-owned by the State of Qatar, will provide the financial wherewithal.

San Miguel is expected to roll out its cellular service by the middle of 2009, according to Raymond Moreno, the former majority owner of Liberty Telecoms.

Moreno says SMC will use Wi-Max, said to be the most advanced telephone technology in the world today. “Wi-Max will make obsolete the technology of both PLDT Smart and Globe Telecom,” he claims.

Both Smart and Globe use 3G and GSM technologies, which Moreno insists, pale in comparison with the capability of Wi-Max.

“Wimax is only 10 percent of the cost of GSM and 3G,” explains Moreno. Thus, he points out, San Miguel will be very competitive because it will have a 90-percent price advantage.

Wi-Max is a very simple technology, says Moreno. “All you need is a tube inside your house which will serve as the cellsite. The tube can accommodate cellular, landline, DSL and cable TV all at the same time at a fraction of the cost of current services,” he points out.

Telephony is a P200 billion a year business in terms of sales and P50 billion in terms of profits. In 2007, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) chalked up sales of P146 billion and made P36 billion in profits. Globe Telecom, on the other hand, registered revenues of P63 billion and netted P13.27 billion. These are close to 60 million cell users, 65 percent of the population.

Moreno says San Miguel will offer existing PLDT Smart and Globe subscribers a very good deal. “They can exchange their GSM cell phones for Wi-Max phones and save plenty of money and yet greatly expand their capability.”

QTel, with an estimated subscriber base of 55 million from 16 countries where it operates GSM or WiMax services, last year paid $1.8 billion for a 40.8 percent stake in Indonesia’s telecom service provider PT Indosat Tbk.

San Miguel, which is diversifying into businesses outside its traditional food and beverage operations, has bought the Government Service and Insurance System’s 27 percent share in the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) for about P30 billion, and is negotiating with London-based Ashmore Group to acquire 51 percent of Petron Corp. for P32.8 billion. The British investment firm is raising its stake in Petron from 51 percent to 90 percent by acquiring the government’s remaining 40 percent interest in the oil company.

The acquisitions are in line with the pledge by San Miguel Chairman and CEO Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. and President and COO Ramon Ang that San Miguel will develop new engines of growth in power and other utilities, infrastructure, mining and property.

As part of its entry into the telecom business, San Miguel is finalizing negotiations to acquire a controlling stake in Liberty Telecoms. “We are in negotiations to buy 60 percent [of Liberty Telecoms],” says Ang.

Ang has been elected as the new chairman of Liberty, replacing Gabriel Dee shortly after assuming the chairmanship from Raymond Moreno.

Liberty Telecoms, which filed for rehabilitation with the Makati Regional Trial Court in 2005 after suspending operations due to tight cash problems, has been scouting for a strategic partner to revive its ailing operations.

QTel, for its part, recently acquired 27.12 percent of Liberty Telecoms through the conversion of its loans to the telecom firm into equity.

San Miguel and QTel on December 15 signed a memorandum of understanding to seek joint opportunities in the wireless broadband, mobile and mobile broadband sectors in the Philippines.

The agreement was signed by San Miguel President Ramon Ang and QTel deputy chairman Sheikh Mohammed Bin Suhaim Al-Thani in the presence of President Gloria Arroyo, who was on a three-day working visit to Qatar.

Arroyo welcomed the joint venture. She called for more investments in technology and other related industries.

Ang says San Miguel is venturing into the technology-intensive telecommunications industry because it “believes that the Filipino consumer will be the ultimate beneficiary of its intended investments.” He points out that the public will have access to a reliable service provider offering affordable high-speed wireless broadband and communication solutions.

Al-Thani says the joint venture is part of QTel’s ongoing plans for expansion and consolidation within Southeast Asia. He notes that the group has been looking “to increase its profile within the Philippines as the environment appears increasingly open to external investment and the provision of communication services.”

At present, the domestic broadband market is dominated by PLDT, controlled by the Hong Kong-based First Pacific Ltd., Globe Telecom of Ayala Corp. and Singapore Telecom, Bayan Telecommunications of the Lopez family and John Gokongwei’s Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc.

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gamhanang baruka

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xx - GLOBE, PLDT-SMART,BAYANTEL DIGITEL may fall to the NEW LIBERTY WI-MAX - Technology
Re: GLOBE, PLDT-SMART,BAYANTEL DIGITEL may fall to the NEW LIBERTY WI-MAX
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2009, 01:41:22 PM »
This is exciting but i dont think they'll be able to roll out in Bohol in a year or two. Despite being given a congressional franchise, local executives will only delay the facility roll-out (mangayo pa man ang mga Trapos). This is good news though for all of us.

I heard Globe will increase bandwidth capacity in Bohol within the year. A reliable source told me that their Fiber Optic has already landed in Bohol and the same facility will link Mindanao creating a loop / additional capacity from their already existing Fiber Optic network. I was also told that their WIMAX will be available in Bohol soon. I hope this is true.


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Re: GLOBE, PLDT-SMART,BAYANTEL DIGITEL may fall to the NEW LIBERTY WI-MAX
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 09:40:15 PM »
The best news in 2009. I can't wait...
Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

*SET UP YOUR OWN blog, business or personal website, or online store at www.wirenine.com

Mari

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xx - GLOBE, PLDT-SMART,BAYANTEL DIGITEL may fall to the NEW LIBERTY WI-MAX - Technology
Re: GLOBE, PLDT-SMART,BAYANTEL DIGITEL may fall to the NEW LIBERTY WI-MAX
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 11:05:59 PM »
we are excited too!!! yohoo!!



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