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MANILA, Philippines, August 3, 2011 – A senior PLDT official has asked the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to recall the radio frequencies of a broadcasting company which he said were being illegally used by Globe Telecom to provide broadband Internet service.
"These frequencies of Altimax Broadcasting should be returned and be made available to interested parties," said Atty. Ray C. Espinosa, PLDT head for regulatory and policy affairs during the briefing on PLDT's first half 2011 results on Tuesday.
According to Espinosa, a senior Globe official admitted that during the NTC hearings on the PLDT acquisition of Digitel that Globe had acquired Altimax in 2009 and that it was using the broadcasting frequencies of Altimax to provide its WiMax service.
He also cited the 2010 financial statement of Altimax which contained a note saying that Altimax was leasing its frequencies to Globe subsidiary Innove for the amount of P70 million in 2009 and P90 million in 2010.
The PLDT official stressed that the use of broadcast frequencies for telecom applications is illegal. He added that the provisional authority granted by the NTC to Altimax does not allow the company to lease its frequencies without the approval of the Commission.
Espinosa raised the issue of Globe's unauthorized use of radio frequencies in response to Globes allegations that PLDT has amassed "excessive" frequencies.
"In the case of PLDT and Smart, we are making efficient and productive use of the frequencies assigned to us. There is no basis legal or factual for Globe's claims that we have 'excessive' frequencies that should be returned to the government and handed over to Globe," Espinosa said.
Granted a provisional authority in 2000, Altimax is authorized to offer a wireless broadcasting services similar to wireless cable TV using a Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System (MMDS) nationwide.
Under cross-examination by PLDT lawyers during the NTC hearings on the Digitel case, The head of Globe's network technologies strategy division Eng. Emmanuel Estrada said that Globe had acquired Altimax in 2009 and that it was using Altimax frequencies for the deployment of it's WiMax services in various parts of Luzon.
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