Telstra expects to invest as much as $US 1 billion ($1.4 billion) to build a new mobile network in the Philippines, valuing the company at $US 2.5 billion. Telstra owns 40 percent of the venture with San Miguel Corp.
SMC currently holds licenses to use 90 MHz of the total 100 MHz on the 700-MHz band through Wi-Tribe Telecoms, Inc. (80 MHz) and High Frequency Telecommunications, Inc. (10 MHz). The remaining 10 MHz is held by New Century Telecommunications.
SMC has been supplying telecom services in the Philippines since 2009, and owns a number of small telcos including Eastern Telecoms Philippines, Inc. (ETPI), Vega Telecom, Liberty Telecoms, BellTel and Extelcom.
The shift into mobile in partnership with Telstra could mean a huge shift in potential impact, though.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the major mobile companies that undoubtedly will lose market share to the new contestant are asking the government to that reallocate much of that spectrum to them.
At least so far, no final deal has been signed by Telstra and San Miguel, though it is hard to see the companies failing to reach such agreement.