APEC CEOs see trade growing via broadband connectivity

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Chief executive officers operating in the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) region have identified broadband connectivity as a key driver for growth.

Based on the latest APEC CEOs survey by PricewaterhouseCooper (PWC) which included 800 of the region’s top business leaders, growth prospects for the region will be enhanced with improved connectivity.

Of the CEOs surveyed, the highest – at 28 per cent – favoured broadband connectivity compared to new transport and maritime corridors, Trade Facilitation Agreements (TFA), among others.

PWC chairman Dennis Nally reported on the findings of their APEC CEO survey as “reflective of a region in transition” from intra-APEC trade outpacing global trade in 2016 to digital technology streamlining manufacturing and high-quality education increasing the ranks of the middle class.

Also read: Telstra to shake up PH telco market with $1b investment plan; criticises incumbents over ‘lousy service’

“Estimates on the impact on the GDP across Asia Pacific of the 700MHz band alone, as allocated to mobile, is a tenfold increase to $1 trillion by 2020,” said Globe Telecom Inc general counsel Froilan Castelo, as he cited the forecast made by the Groupe Speciale Mobile (GSMA) about the harmonization of the 700/800MHz bands.

GSMA is an international trade body for telecommunications advocacy – representing network operators, including Globe Telecom, that use GSM technology for their networks.

Castelo added that in their talks with GSMA, they were informed that the Philippines was one of only two countries in the world with major issues which lie in the way of adoption of the APT (Asia Pacific Telecommunity) 700 Band Plan. One such issue is the underutilized 700-megahertz frequency band currently held by diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp (SMC).

“The maximized use of the 700MHz spectrum promises to be one of the driving forces in instituting broadband connectivity in conformity with the APEC’s growth directions by further developing regional economic cooperation and integration,” Globe said in a statement.

Also read: PLDT ties up with Philippine Open Internet Exchange to improve country’s internet speed

Globe and its rival PLDT, reiterated their calls for the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC)
to auction off part of the 700 Mhz frequency band to industry players who actually have more subscribers than SMC, stressing it will help improve not only the Internet speed in the country but also issues on explosion of mobile data use.

Both companies raised anew their concerns to the NTC shortly after Australia-based telecommunications and information services company Telstra confirmed plans of spending up to $1 billion in the Philippines if in case it closes the mobile phone venture deal with SMC.

Only recently, Telstra chief Andrew Penn slammed the telco duopoly in the Philippines, calling the services of Globe and PLDT as “lousy”.

Globe said Japan’s commitment to the APT 700 Band Plan, confirmed in April, 2012, is a model country execution by way of allocating the spectrum to different mobile operators immediately.

Also read: Globe Telecom calls for all-inclusive IP peering of major Internet providers in PH

According to the GSMA, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication of Japan allocated the 700MHz spectrum in accordance with the APT FDD Band Plan so much so that by July that year, the ministry had awarded three pairs of 10MHz x 2 to the respective license applicants.

Expert analysts, including the NTC, said in previous reports that having a third core player in the Philippines will benefit consumers as it will improve market competition.

NTC director Edgardo Cabarios said there is still room for a third network player.

Only recently, global Internet provider Ookla revealed in its household download index report that the Philippines ranked 21st out of 22 countries in Asia to have slow Internet speed followed by Afghanistan.

Also read:

PH telco Globe to infuse $300m into new subsidiary Bayantel after it ends corp rehab

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.