MANILA - PLDT Inc is looking to forge more partnerships with China's Huawei to improve services ahead of the entry of a third player in the telecommunications space, its chairman, Manuel V. Pangilinan said.
A $28-million deal between PLDT's mobile unit, Smart Communications, and Huawei that was announced last week, was "the first of many agreements," Pangilinan told reporters on Wednesday.
Pangilinan said Huawei would help PLDT integrate its online billing and service delivery platforms.
President Rodrigo Duterte wants a third telecommunications firm up and running by the first quarter of the year, according to his office, and has offered the role to China.
PLDT and Globe Telecom continue dominate industry after San Miguel Corp backed out last year and sold its telecommunications assets to the two players.
China Telecom and Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp have both expressed interest in setting up the third player, according to Malacanang.
However, 3 telecommunications players may not be enough to improve services and bring prices down, according to Sen. Bam Aquino, who chairs the committee on science and technology.
"We shouldn't be satisfied with 3. We should have at least 5. Singapore, a much, much smaller country than ours, has 5 telco players. We have two basically right now," he told ANC Thursday.