China invited to set up third mobile network in the Philippines

China invited to set up third mobile network in the Philippines

The duopoly that has dominated the Philippines for years could be shaken up following a meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Duterte has reportedly invited China to set up a third mobile operator in the market, although a possible operating partner has not yet been identified.

The Filipino market is currently dominated by PLDT and Globe Telecom, with each holding nearly 50% of the market. In October last year Duterte threatened to open the market up to Chinese investment if they did not improve their services.

Both operators have been accused of offering substandard internet speeds and typically lacklustre performance. The most recent data (May-July 2017) for the Philippines from OpenSignal, which maps wireless coverage, pegged the country’s average download speed at 8.6Mb/s – well below the global 4G average of 16.2Mb/s.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said: “the good news is, consumers can look forward now to better telecommunications, not just in terms of cellular technology but also in terms of internet speed as well as access.”

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