Liberty chief sets sights on wireless broadband

By LENIE LECTURA/ Business Mirror

Posted at Feb 04 2009 08:23 AM | Updated as of Feb 04 2009 04:23 PM

San Miguel-controlled Liberty Telecoms is set to being a strong player in the highly competitive industry, focusing efforts on the wireless broadband arena.

“Looking at the enormous potential and the opportunities that the wireless broadband sector in the Philippines has to offer, I am extremely excited and hope to play an instrumental role in establishing Liberty Telecoms as a strong player in the Philippine telecom industry,” said Liberty Telecoms Holdings Inc.’s. newly appointed chief operating officer (COO) Anastacio Martirez, in a statement released on Tuesday Martirez formally joins Liberty today.

The former marketing whiz of Smart Communications Inc. brings with him more than three decades of experience working for blue chip companies such as Procter & Gamble, Philips Electrical Lighting and Sky Cable.

He joins Liberty as the COO after having held the positions of chief mobile head and head of consumer business at Smart for 12 years, and the position of chief executive officer for the Jakarta-based PT Smart Telecom.  

Martirez has vast experience in wireless broadband Internet as well as successfully launching various mobile services from rollout, network operations, customer service and sales and marketing.

Liberty Telecoms is a holding company engaged in providing telecommunication products and services through subsidiaries. It offers wireless voice services, connectivity services, Internet, international lease line, international frame relay, private Internet protocol services and video teleconference services.

It recently partnered with Qatar’s major telecommunications company Qatar Telecom. Qtel is an integrated telecommunications player, which offers services to 16 countries with total population coverage of 550 million and a subscriber base of 55 million. It is majority-owned by the State of Qatar.

In December, San Miguel Corp. announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar Telecom QSC (Qtel) to work on a joint venture in wireless broadband and mobile communications projects in the country.

The partnership will use listed Liberty Telecoms as the investment vehicle for the planned endeavor. SMC bought a 60-percent economic interest in the telco for a controlling stake in the company.

Ang was elected chairman of the telecom firm in a special board meeting held on December 9. Liberty Telecom also approved an increase in its capital via the issuance of preferred shares until May 2010.