By Emmie V. Abadilla
Just a couple of days after issuing the draft Terms of Reference (TOR) for selecting the New Major Player (NMP) in the telco industry, state regulators once more changed the selection formula, removing the cap on the bid amount, although the minimum bid was set at P36.58 billion.
“The participant who submits the highest bid shall be selected as the NMP,” according to the latest pronouncement of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The other night (June 28, 2018), the DICT declared that the TOR will now use auction as the mode of selection for the NMP instead of the Highest Committed Level of Service (HCLoS) formula, which was in its TOR published earlier this week (June 26, 2018).
In its latest draft, the minimum bid amount will be pegged from the Spectrum User Fees (SUFs) being paid by existing telecommunications companies.
However, while there is a P36.58 billion minimum bid amount, in this mode of selection, the amount itself is “in no way final” because it does not yet consider expert inputs from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and best practices from other countries, the DICT pointed out.
The latest TOR stated that the participant who offers the highest amount of bid for the 5-year Commitment Period shall become the NMP. After the Commitment Period, the NMP shall be subject fo the applicable Spectrum User fee, subject to prevailing rules and regulations.
The 5-man Selection Committee shall prepare the Selection Documents, which shall include a checklist of Submission requirements, relevant forms, and the electronic spreadsheet template which prospective participants have to buy for P1 million.
The DICT is scheduled to hold a public consultation on the TOR next week.