THE Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Davao thinks a third telecommunication company is already needed by the country however this investment wouldn’t be a simple walk in the park and would involve a lot of challenges.

ICT Davao president Samuel Matunog said the presence of a third telco in the country is a must already but important investment points must properly be considered.

“Im very bullish that we need a third telco, I know we can do it but it is a very challenging project because it requires a lot of resources to implement. It’s not easy to penetrate all because Globe and PLDT are already established. The third telco is afraid because as DICT said you need at least P60 billion to just start. At the end of the day, maybe, the total cost will range from P250 billion to P300 billion in total investment to reach the level of Globe and PLDT. The question of the third telco always is when will they be able to satisfy the investors that there will be return of money,” Matunog said.

“There are many who are interested but they are not willing to fork so much money because they might not be able to recover. But we really need it. We want it, we need it, and there is a market for the third telco,” he added.

In an earlier published article, ICT Davao urged the government to consider the recommendation of the Davao Regional Development Plan 2017-2022 on how the IT-BPM industry can be revitalized, as well as the recommendations of the Better Broadband Alliance to further strengthen the implementing rules and regulations of the RA No. 10929 or the “Free Internet Access in Public Places Act.”

“The real challenge, is whether China Telecom or any other telecom player finds their entry as viable investment opportunities. Even more pressing is, whether the government can provide a level playing field to entice other telecom and broadband players – “last mile” and VAS providers, among other – to join the game. And there are many places to start,” ICT Davao said in a statement.

The internet connection of the Philippines had always been the source of contempt and sometimes considered a laughing matter of Filipinos who had suffered for so long. The Internet Report of Akamai Technologies’ Global State published on May of last year revealed that the Philippines remain to have one of the slowest internet connections in the Asia Pacific. Globally, Philippines ranks 100th among the other countries for internet speed connectivity.

While the global average connection speed is at 7.2 Mbps and had increasing by 2.3 percent every quarter, the average connection speed of the Philippines is only at 5.5 Mbps. This is very low compared to the top three countries in the Asia Pacific with highest connection speed averages: (1) South Korea at 28.6 Mbps, (2) Hong Kong at 21.9 Mbps, and (3) Singapore at 20.3 Mbps.

After President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to India, he brought back with him the news that India had also expressed interest in providing a new telecommunications player in the Philippines. Duterte said this interest was currently being considered.