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PLDT ready to give up CURE frequency.

MANILA, Philippines With the looming entry of a third telco player, PLDT Inc. is ready to waive its right to receive payment for the 3G frequency of Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises (CURE), which it turned over to the government as a condition for the acquisition of Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc.

(Digitel)."I advised Malacaaang last night that we are prepared to waive our rights in respect of any and all benefits arising from the disposal of the CURE frequency by the government," PLDT chairman, president and chief executive officer Manuel V.

Pangilinan said in a text message yesterday.The right was granted to PLDT in 2011 by the National Telecommunications Commission as reimbursement for the cost of acquiring CURE and its frequency.

"PLDT does not want to be seen as standing in the way of a third telco player which may wish to enter," he said.Information and Communications Technology officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio Jr.

said that after speaking with Pangilinan, PLDT would return the CURE frequencies at absolutely no cost.PLDT's willingness to waive its right to receive payment for the 3G frequency returned to the government comes on the heels of presidential spokesman Harry Roque's pronouncement that President Duterte was not pleased with the reports that the government would have to buy back the CURE frequency.

element-invisibleBusiness ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1"The President rejected that proposal, that we pay for frequencies that we gave out for free, and he warned everyone involved not to test the resolve of the President in allowing a third telecoms carrier to enter the country," Roque said.PLDT surrendered the 3G frequency of CURE to the government as one of the conditions for the acquisition of Digitel or Sun Cellular from the Gokongwei Group.

The telco and digital service provider's wireless unit Smart Communications Inc. acquired CURE from former trade minister Roberto Ongpin in 2008 and operated the telco using the brand name RED Mobile.

In 2011, PLDT filed a petition for approval with the NTC for the acquisition of Digitel.As a condition for the approval of the Digitel acquisition, the NTC in October 2011 ordered PLDT to divest itself of CURE.

PLDT was given a nine-month transition period to migrate CURE's customers to Smart.Under NTC supervision, a competitive bidding would be conducted for CURE and a minimum price would be set to allow PLDT to recover the reasonable cost of its investment in acquiring, developing and operating CURE or the cost recovery amount.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Date:Feb 8, 2018
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