In Manila’s Arroyo says NTT DoCoMo to invest in PLDT (Reuters via Yahoo! News):
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said on Tuesday NTT DoCoMo Inc , Japan’s top mobile phone operator, will invest $300 million in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).
Arroyo said in a televised discussion with members of her cabinet that Manuel Pangilinan, chairman of the country’s largest telecoms firm, had relayed the news to her.
“So that’s another new investment,” Arroyo said without giving details.
Pangilinan and the PLDT spokesman were not immediately available to comment on Arroyo’s statement.
The Japanese national telco Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) already owns 15% PLDT so this may be no big deal. It must be part of the confidence-boosting moves of the adminstration, to release it before PLDT did.
Are there any real changes? DoCoMo is a separate corporation but is majority owned by NTT.
But an official at PLDT, who asked for anonymity, said NTT DoCoMo’s investment may be just a realignment of the Japanese group’s investment in the Philippine telecoms company.
Does this have something to do with Smart’s turnaround regarding 3G? DoCoMo operates a W-CDMA 3G network under the “FOMA” (Freedom of Multimedia Access) Brand. According to the NTT DoCoMo Standardizing W-CDMA page, they have been partnered with Smart since 1998.
Back in November 2004, in 3G guidelines out; Smart doesn’t bite:
“œWe believe in 3G. It is the future. But I think this isn’t the time for 3G yet,” Philippine Long Distance and Telephone Company (PLDT) chairman Manuel “œManny” V. Pangilinan said. PLDT is the parent company of mobile telecommunications operator Smart Communications.
“œThe local market is not yet ready for 3G,” stressed Pangilinan, adding that it is “œa very expensive proposition to go 3G at this point.”
Now, Smart is one of the 4 carriers granted a license. What has changed since then? New competitors coming in? Smart spokesperson Ramon Isberto discloses some info in Smart: 3G will take “˜natural service introduction’ path.
Now Smart has a 3G page which announces demos available at their business centers.
Experience SMART 3G for yourself with a free demo at the following SMART Wireless Centers: SMART Tower, Alabang Town Center, EDSA Shangri-La Mall, Powerplant Rockwell and SM Cebu. Smart 3G demo will also be available at SM Megamall and SM North EDSA SMART Wireless Centers starting January 15, 2006.
Is this the real thing?