Speaking to journalists in the Philippines, President Duterte said that launching a third telco remained one of the country’s top priorities

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has said that his bid to launch a third telco in the country would be "open to all interested parties, both foreign and local".

President Duterte has long courted China Mobile as his favoured international player, with whom Filipino businesses would form a joint venture. However, China Mobile has remained tight lipped over its potential involvement in the Filipino market and has so far failed to confirm its participation. 

After a lengthy silence from China Mobile, President Duterte now appears to be exploring other options, in a bid to open up the potential deal to new suitors.  

"The only condition is that the chosen entity must provide the best possible services at reasonably accessible prices," he told journalists in Manilla. 

President Duterte also reiterated his desire that the new telco should provide the full range of data and voice services, to inject fresh competition into the country’s stagnating duopoly, adding that it should be "fair, reasonable and comprehensive." 

President Duterte had originally said that he wanted the country’s third telco to be fully operational by the end of the first quarter of 2018. With that deadline long since passed, President Duterte is pushing the formation of a third telco as a matter of national urgency. 


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