San Miguel to launch telecoms venture with or without Telstra


Posted at Feb 12 2016 06:20 PM

MANILA – San Miguel Corporation will launch its venture in the telecommunications industry with or without would-be partner, Australia-based Telstra.

In a text message, San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang confirmed reports that San Miguel will begin its venture within the year, even if a deal does not materialize with Telstra.

"Yes, we will do it," Ang said on Friday.

Last year, Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn said his company was looking into investing up to $1 billion in a possible venture with San Miguel.

Right now, Telstra is in the middle of a public relations nightmare after an Australia-wide outage on Tuesday prevented some 1.5 million customers from accessing the internet.

Telstra was hit by a second, less widespread outage on Thursday.

Both were attributed to technical glitches, but the first outage was also linked to human error.

Telstra is now trying to make amends with free data for customers this weekend.

"While the outage was short in duration we fully realize the impact it had on our customers, which is why we are offering all of our customers a day of free mobile data this Sunday," Kate McKenzie, chief operations officer at Telstra, said in a statement.

Once San Miguel launches with or without Telstra, it will compete with industry leader Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) and Globe Telecom.

On Wednesday, Globe said it is eagerly awaiting the entry of new competition, while warning any new player might find current market conditions "fierce."

"We're really waiting for them to come in, but the fact that they have delayed for over a year, just means that we are better prepared for any new entrant. And even without them coming in, we do have a very fierce competitor," Globe's acting chief finance officer Rosemarie Maniego-Eala said.