Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte invited China to invest in the country’s telecoms sector to end the current duopoly held by PLDT and Globe Telecom, The Philippine Star reported.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Duterte offered China the opportunity to introduce a third mobile operator in the country during a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, the newspaper stated.
“So the good news is, consumers can look forward now to better telecommunications, not just in terms of cellular technology but also in terms of internet speed as well as access,” Roque said in a press briefing.
A potential Chinese partner was not named.
In October 2016 Duterte warned the county’s two dominant mobile operators he would open the market to Chinese competition if they fail to improve their poor service. Duterte said at the time he shared the frustration of the country’s mobile users, who have endured slow internet speeds and generally poor service.
According to wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal’s latest data (covering May to July 2017), the average download speed in the country was nearly flat at 8.6Mb/s compared with its analysis covering November 2016 to January 2017. The global 4G average is 16.2Mb/s.
Globe and Smart, the mobile unit of PLDT, traded places as the market leader by mobile connections between Q4 2016 and Q2 2017, with each holding a near 50 per cent share at end-June, according to GSMA Intelligence.