Multi-Media Telephony plans broadband network expansion

Lenie Lectura, Business Mirror

Posted at Feb 19 2009 12:30 AM | Updated as of Feb 19 2009 08:30 AM

Multimedia Telephony Inc. (MTI), the operating company of Broadband Philippines, will implement a network expansion program this year to further strengthen its broadband business.

"It [the program] will be [implemented] in phases. We may start this year," said the company's chief for corporate services Juan Lorenzo Tañada in a phone interview. "For now, that's all I can say. We have to be competitive," he added.

The company's network is currently made up of wireless transmitters capable of providing high-speed data and voice access, virtual private networks, web hosting, internet data centers and electronic business applications.

MTI was originally engaged in paging network and call center operations before it shifted to local exchange telephony. After it was awarded by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) with a nationwide broadband licenses, MTI sold its paging division to Easycall in 1999 and in early 2000, put on the market its call center business in order to concentrate on its new broadband projects.

At end-2008, MTI said it closed the year with 2,000 subscribers. "The 2,000 subscribers are, I think, voice subscribers of our wireless landline service. [the number] does not include data subscribers," Tañada said.

MTI's wireless landline service is similar to the Landline Plus service offered by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Wireless Landline of Bayan Telecommunications Inc. Tañada said MTI has voice interconnection agreements with most of the carriers but the company is still negotiating for text messaging interconnection.

MTI installed 83 cellular sites and now has a network coverage of 80 percent in Metro Manila, the company's yearend report to the NTC stated.

The company's bid to operate a 3G (third-generation) network did not push through after it failed to comply with the minimum requirements set by the regulator. It has a pending petition for review, with a request for a temporary restraining order, before the Court of Appeals for the government's agency's plan to allocate the country's remaining frequency in the 3G bandwith.