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NTC hearing on PLDT-Digitel deal on May 23




PLDT‘s acquisition of Digitel is still in the works and is not final (see original story here). NTC has yet to approve of this sale before it pushes thru. As such, the commission has set a hearing this May 23, 2011.

The hearing will allow all parties who oppose to the deal to state their case. Even the Office of the President has tasked the Justice Department to look into the deal to see if the merger is aligned with consumer’s interest (the deal has sparked issues of anti-trust). I’m sure reps of Globe Telecom will be there as they’ve been very vocal about this case from the very beginning.


We’ve already said our piece here before (Merging Smart & Sun not good for consumers?) and pondered on the reasons why PLDT made this move.

Do you guys agree that PLDT should be allowed to buy Digitel/Sun Cellar?



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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48 Responses

  1. Num Lock says:

    Hi guys, a big NO for me. This will result to higher telecom expenses for consumers as there will be lesser competition with the providers.

    Instead, telecom, water, road, transport and power utilities should be owned and controlled by the government for the benefit of the public.

  2. Christian says:

    Nakakalungkot isipin na dinadamay pa si Digitel sa kalokohan ng PLDT.

  3. arj says:

    it shouldn’t be that way. digitel’s services will be affected with pldt. same goes with their telecos

  4. Will says:

    I’m not agree for the merging. Masyadong madugas ang Smart sa mga services nila. Malamang kapag natuloy yan, ipapaputol ko na ang line ko sa SUN.

  5. Ayala North says:

    I’m not for the merger. Less competition is always not good for consumers

  6. cirrus says:

    jan na mag sstart ang part2 ng monopoly ng pldt,

  7. poche says:

    panget ang services ng digitel. makakabenefit sila sa infrastructure ng pldt especially sa internet/dsl.

    regarding sa sun naman, 1800mhz lang frequency ng sun ang problema ng ganun freq e mahina magpenetrate sa mga bldg ang signal at parang hinahangin kung minsan. magbbenefit naman sila sa 900mhz na signal ng smart.

    sa pldt naman sinabi nila na pagaaralan nila un business model ng smart baka may matutunan daw sila.

    ano gusto nio mangyari wag na matuloy yun deal?
    e papano yan kapos na ng budget ang digitel/sun sa pagupgrade ng system nila kaya nga sila nakipagmerge sa pldt?
    tapos uupo pa din as official yun head ng digitel kaya may say pa din naman sila at lastly sinabi na ng pldt na di nila gagalawin ang services ng sun at digitel yun mga infra lang.

    • Mr.A says:

      Maganda ang sinabi ng PLDT, pero walang kasiguraduhan kung gaano katagal nila pananatiliin ang pangako na iyan. Kahit may say yung may ari sa company, isang say lang yun. Papaano pag majority decision?

    • chinitoguy says:

      Huwag ka basta basta maniniwala sa mga sinasabi ng PLDT. Kahit gumagamit ng 1800mhz ang Sun hindi naman ito hadlang kasi napakaraming cellsites ang nilagay nila at may mga indoor cellsites pa sila nilagay.

      Hindi kakapusan sa budget ang dahilan kaya gusto ng JG Summit na ibenta ang Digitel kundi maging isa rin sila sa may-ari ng PLDT. Magkakaroon sila ng 12% shares sa PLDT kapag natuloy ang deal. Hindi nalulugi ang Digitel. Sa simula nalulugi sila nung sinimulan nila ang roll-out ng kanilang cellular network. Sa loob 3 taon malaki na ang kinikita nila at nabayaran na nila ang mga utang nila. Malinis ang Digitel.

    • bus ads says:

      Thanks for the good insight bro, best post ive seen in yugatech for this month :) And maybe that’s why Globe has been pushing all their advertising efforts. Billboards, tv spots, magazine, online etc. Good thing they have managed to get a good positioning before this deals aftermath

    • Jayson Moy says:

      Historical Net Income/Loss of Digitel
      2003 – Net Loss 1.29 Billion
      2004 – Net Loss 1.81 Billion
      2005 – Net Loss 1.50 Billion
      2006 – Net Loss 963 Million
      2007 – Net Income 1.17 Billion
      2008 – Net Loss 1.98 Billion
      2009 – Net Income 259 Million
      2010 – Net Income 429 Million

      Mukhang hindi malaki yung kinikita nila kundi mukhang malaki na ang nalulugi sa kanila but it seems na since 2009, positive na ulit ang results making it a good buy for PLDT.

      FOR BROADBAND EXPANSION
      Mabilis nakapag-rollout ang Sun ng nationwide 3G/3.5G broadband network making it viable para sa EXPANSION PLANS ng Sun Cellular since their 3G/3.5 network infrastructure is DIFFERENT from its 2G/GPRS/EDGE network. Aside from this, matipid na nagagamit ng Sun ang frequency allocation sa kanila na 10mhz that means good management of the bandwidth at puwede nila itong gamitin for future requirements ng SMART network.

      For broadband, Smart uses:
      WCDMA850 (malakas/malayo ang coverage)
      WCDMA1900/2100
      Kapag congested ang isang band, you can switch.

      Sun Broadband
      WCDMA1900/2100

      MALAKING HADLANG ANG KAWALAN NG 900MHZ FREQUENCY NG SUN CELLULAR
      Lower frequencies allow carriers to provide coverage over a larger area (900mhz not anymore available/already given to other telco), while higher frequencies allow carriers to provide service to more customers in a smaller area (Sun’s 1800 mhz).
      —> more cellsites for Sun to cover the country. Kaya still, choppy ang calls.

      GIVEN THE SMART-DIGITEL DEAL, WILL SMART SHARE 900mhz to SUN?
      I hope. Expect clearer, better call quality of Sun if this will happen.

      SMART ang magtutuloy ng magagandang serbisyo ng SUN CELLULAR.

      I hope.

    • Jayson Moy says:

      CORRECTION PO:
      ===FROM===
      FOR BROADBAND EXPANSION
      Mabilis nakapag-rollout ang Sun ng nationwide 3G/3.5G broadband network making it viable para sa EXPANSION PLANS ng Sun Cellular since their 3G/3.5 network infrastructure is DIFFERENT from its 2G/GPRS/EDGE network.
      ===TO===
      Mabilis nakapag-rollout ang Sun ng nationwide 3G/3.5G broadband network making it viable para sa EXPANSION PLANS ng SMART Communications since SUN’s 3G/3.5 network infrastructure is ENTIRELY DIFFERENT from its 2G/GPRS/EDGE network (as to location/cellsite). Well planned yung positioning ng mga sites (radius) based sa maps on Sun Shops. Sun targeted HIGHLY RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL AREAS like subdivisions.

    • Dane says:

      I agree with the merging. s pagpapatayo p lng ng tower n 1800 MHz ang equipment lugi kana compare s 900 MHz equipment.

      kung less OPEX/CAPEX mas mababa ang price s mga services.

  8. tolits says:

    uu naman payag para naman hindi rin luge ang mga investor nyan digitel, nanay ko nakakuha ng certain amount of stocks during the 80’s doon sa initial public offering hangang nung late 2009 check namin kung meron ng dividend wala pa rin. payag na kasi wala naman silbi yan mga yan pldt pa rin ang gamit dito sa metro manila

  9. Mr.A says:

    Parang pang sariling interest mo lang ang sinabi mo. Ano naman ang pakeelam namin kung may stocks ang mama mo.

    • ry says:

      may point ka kuya :))

    • Jayson Moy says:

      FYI po.

      Para magtagumpay ang isang company, dapat
      Makapagbigay ito ng magandang serbisyo sa mga subscribers WHILE ADDING VALUE TO THE SHAREHOLDERS.

      Dapat:
      Customers – Happy (magandang signal, murang rates)
      Shareholders/Investors – Happy (dividends)

      Paano gaganda ang serbisyo ng isang kumpanya kung walang MAG-IINVEST. So kung malungkot yung investor, hindi na siya bibili ng SHARES ng company. Ang pera ng INVESTORS ay ginagamit para sa EXPANSION ng business.

      SHARE PRICE NG DIGITEL
      PAR VALUE: 1 peso
      MARKET VALUE:
      Before Acquisition: 1.38 pesos
      Acquisition Rumors: 2.00 pesos (52-week HIGH)

      Na-boost yung investor confidence kasi sa wakas, baka magbago yung financial performance ng company under new management) kasi ilang years na, halos piso pa rin ang share price ng Digitel

      SHARE PRICE NG PLDT AT GLOBE:
      PLDT PAR VALUE: 1 peso (dati)
      SHARE PRICE TODAY: 2,480 pesos

      GLOBE PAR VALUE: 50 pesos
      SHARE PRICE TODAY: 850 pesos

      ***The par value of a stock was the share price upon initial offering/stated value/apparent worth of the share of stock

  10. AA+ says:

    It seems that PLDT is becoming greedier than ever. First, it was Red mobile then Sun cellular? WTF! Seriously, PLDT’s playing so dirty against Globe.

    NTC, please, for the sake of the Faithful Sun subscribers, do not allow this deal to be executed. PLDT will surely make Sun as worse as Smart.

  11. RJ says:

    I think PLDT has the right to buy Digitel. They are financilally capable and Digitel is being sold, nonetheless.

    In my opinion, instead of having some sort of hearing whether this acquisition will have negative implications on consumers, why not NTC use their time in forming regulations to protect consumer rights. We have the worst consumer protection laws (and implementation)in Asia not only in telecommunications but almost on every trade and industry. Knocking on DTI.

    NTC should start regulating these telecom companies. I tell you, I only pay for like 500 pesos for a 6mbps broadband internet here in Thailand. My mobile phone subscription is roughly 600 pesos, all unlimited including EDGE/3G. Just to add, EDGE is even faster here than Smart’s 3G. Mobile phone calls are only like 3 pesos per minute.

    Create and regulate laws. The Philippine government should start protecting its people from these greedy companies.

    • Iyan says:

      And one of the first steps to protection is making sure the market has enough companies in competition with each other.

    • RJ says:

      I am not sure how NTC will ensure there’s enough competition in the telecommunications industry. Indeed, competition may lower the prices or provide better services but it is still the responsibility of the government to have at least some control on these companies. Let’s look at the petroleum industry, there are actually a good number of oil players but still the gas prices are ridiculously high. Why? It is because of deregulation not because there’s no enough competition. The companies are conspiringly monopolizing. I am still wondering how much money our lawmakers (and the president that time) got just to pass the oil deregulation law.

    • Dane says:

      money problem!!!!!! thats why very few invested in telco.

    • Edge3G says:

      yeah right! mas mabilis ang EDGE sa 3G sa Thailand? wow! galing naman nun.. sobra naman ang bilib mo sa Thailand…

  12. kebbot says:

    this is not a good news at all, we the consumers will suffer, this kind of things should not be allowed….. hays..

  13. Tyr says:

    if the deal goes thru…pldt/smart has killed the competition…and the gov’t allowed it to happen…were they suppose to be on our side…consumers are the losing party here…

  14. Bryan says:

    Nooooooo… Im switching to Bayantel soon for the DSL because PLDT sucks big time. Its super slow and disconnects all the time! They already bought sun cellular tapos eto pa. pero alang pera pang gawa ng service nila. Gosh. Greedy company!

  15. daniel says:

    yes, agree! para may record naman tayo na pinakamalaking telco sa mundo… haha at maganda naman service ng smart eh at pldt eh… solid 2.6 mbps lagi internet namin… plan 3mbps kami :P

  16. chinitoguy says:

    I am against the PLDT-Digitel deal. My side is with Globe.

    My reasons are simple – IT WONT BE THE SAME again. Digitel managed to strengthen Sun Cellular’s network for the past 3 years. I am a Sun subscriber since 2003 were Sun is not offering their phenomenal 24/7 Call & Text Unlimited services yet. There was a time that I want to give up my Sun subscription because of their poor service and network due to influx of subscribers wanting to use Sun’s unlimited service.

    A good friend who works with Digitel said that Sun is currently working its expansion and service will soon be better and totoo nga, drop calls, unable to send text messages, slow internet connection incident went down.

    If the deal pushes thru Digitel wont be that innovative anymore. Sun Cellular was also the first to offer UNLIMITED INTERNET for prepaid broadband users for Php 50. PLDT will get 70% market share that will result by killing Globe and eventually monopoly will return. Sun’s unlimited services may stay but ways to lower down prices will end.

    A potential 3rd player LIBERTY TELECOM, the telecom company of San Miguel will take time for the company to fly and gain subscribers. Liberty has internet (WiMax) services only. They don’t have landline. DSL, and cellular service yet. Much worse, Liberty is incurring losses last year.

    True that PLDT can help improve Digitel’s network by combining both. But it could mean end to innovative pricing of services.

    • Dane says:

      competition is tougher because of SMC that’s why they merge so that expenses in expansion is lower.

  17. milanaorly says:

    big NO No for me!!
    lagi may bad experience ako sa Smart, sa kwarto ko, walang signal,
    pero ang sun, super full signal ko

    eh, maganda reputation ng Sun ngaun, wag sana mapunta sa Smart kc d na maganda reputation nila, nangangain ng load!!

    • chinitoguy says:

      I agree. Kawawa naman tayo kapag nangyari ang merger. Dehado ang Globe sa lakas ng PLDT. Maganda ang laban kapag Globe vs PLDT vs Digitel. Sana makasali na rin ang Liberty Telecom ng San Miguel Corp.

  18. benchmark says:

    Ayaw ko din mag merge ang telco…I am a globe subscriber, yet I know mahirap din pabagsakin ang Globe dahil tie up sila ng SingTel…but then again, ayaw talaga ng PLDT nang may kakumpitensya…sour looser…naiinggit siguro sila sa Meralco.

    (hay! Kailan kaya magkakaron ng another electric company na bago? Solar Panel???)

    • chinitoguy says:

      Naku sa PLDT rin ang Meralco. Malaking kumpanya ang PLDT. Maliban sa Smart kanila ang Meralco, TV5, Cignal Digital TV, Business World, Unitel Pictures at ePLDT. Tapos sister company nila ang Makati Medical Center, Philippine franchise ng Burger King, Metro Pacific na operator ng Maynilad, Manila North Tollways at marami pa. Business empire ang PLDT. Grabe!

  19. Gary says:

    Do we have a choice? Pwede naman gumawa ang smart/PLDT ng dummy company to buy digitel. Haaay, kawawa nanaman tyo… Maganda sanang equalizer ang sun cel.

  20. mr. bogus says:

    no to merger!!!!

    panget man signal ng sun ay di naman sila nangangain ng load gaya ng smart!!!!!!!!

    may 2, 2011 kanain ng smart ang 100pesos load ko di na binalik!!!!!!

    may 9, 2011 kinain uli load ko na 20pesos!!!!

  21. arj says:

    Uso na talaga ang merging gaya ng microsoft,binili ang skype

  22. i agree with the above comments! lesser competition might lead to half-assed services…

  23. index1php says:

    Sana di ma-apprubahan merger…

  24. tmcr says:

    I am in favor of the merger. It will result to better network coverage for Sun Cellular. And continued offering of the Sun-to-Sun Call and Text Unlimited. In the future, unlimited call and text to Smart will also be possible.

    Globe Telecom is such a hypocrite in filing a protest. Globe also attempted to acquire Digitel, but they lost the bidding to Smart. What a sore loser!

  25. Jayson Moy says:

    Merger okay with me.
    But Globe has the right to contest the deal but
    I hope, the result will be in favor of SMART.
    I like the way SMART and MVP shake the telecom landscape. He took the risk. While Globe, being too conservative, didn’t get what they want.

    SUN took the risk = offering 24/7 CTU
    And NOW, big telcos wanted to grab it!

  26. heyheyhey says:

    Ang ninanakaw na load ng SMART ay mapupunta sa kaban ng TV5. Hahaha! :-P

  27. Jericho D says:

    Hey guys,
    As a consumer, I’m against the merger if it destroys competition and our welfare (though some analysts think it will). I don’t want to go back when PLDT monopolized our telephones many years ago.

    If you are against the merger or would like regulators to intervene more, sign this petition: http://bit.ly/ilUdb9

  28. ikomito says:

    no to merger. its just a plain pro-company and not pro-consumer. sana lang talaga magkaron ng political will ang NTC to decide. masyado ng nkakatakot ang PLDT…tandaan natin ang kasabihan, “masama ang sobra”.

  29. henry says:

    I think the merger will affect the unlicall promo of sun cellilar which is very benificial among the consumer,look at the unlicall of smart,Hindi ba putolputol meron bang unlicall na potulpotul?

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