Enterprise

Philippine’s new major telco player may be named in November

If things go well, that is

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Filipinos have been praying to have a third major telco that’ll battle Globe and Smart, and they might finally get an answer. The Philippine government might name the third telco next month, according to a Philippine Cabinet official.

“On November 7, we will have a provisional new major player, barring any decision from the court,” Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said during a Senate committee hearing on the search for the third telco that’ll operate in the Philippines.


The Acting Secretary further said that Filipinos must give the new telco player about six months to put up their own infrastructure. He also added that as early as mid-2019, the winning telco may even have initial subscribers.

If the winning telco fails to do so, the second winning bidder will automatically take its place.

Image credit: Department of Information and Communications Technology

Eight companies are eyeing to be the Philippine’s next telco. The list includes five local groups and three foreign. Each one bought bidding documents worth PhP 1 million earlier this month.

The bidders are also required to declare that they’ll not be a threat to national security amid the data breaches worldwide.

The winner will be selected using automated technology which will determine the group’s level of commitment in terms of speed and coverage.

There are still some issues that need to be addressed before anything becomes final, though, including the construction and use of a common cell tower. The senate hearing will continue to tackle related issues.

Via: CNN Philippines

Enterprise

Philippines: Huawei ban ‘will have a little impact’ on the country

States the Philippines’ robust cybersecurity measures

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Throughout the past few days, the Huawei debacle has devastated companies and consumers across the globe. Everyone is falling for the fear. Huawei’s long-standing suppliers have cut ties with the company. Huawei’s consumers are getting rid of their favored headsets. The wave has swept the whole world.

Naturally, the Philippines isn’t immune. Recently, smartphone retailers and resellers have started refusing Huawei devices from their stores. Local Huawei users can’t easily sell their devices to the second-hand market anymore.


However, an important question still stands. How much will the Huawei ban affect the Philippines?

Of course, the ban originates from Trump’s trade war against China. Among other reasons, the American government cites the company’s inherent cybersecurity risks as the prime motivator. Supposedly, Huawei’s telecommunications hardware can transmit valuable data to the Chinese government. Given the Philippines’ proximity to China, are we also at risk?

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Huawei’s ban “will have a little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.” Shared through a Facebook post, the DICT assures users of the country’s robust cybersecurity measures. As of now, the department has not reported any cybersecurity breaches coming from Huawei equipment.

Likewise, shortly after the news broke, local telcos confirmed continued support for Huawei’s devices. According to the DICT, “they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof.” The department is also imposing strict rules on local telcos regarding network monitoring. The statement also quickly adds the imposition of the same rules on a potential third telco.

Is the DICT’s statement believable? For now, Huawei’s impact is still marginal at best. Companies and consumers are going on the perceived risk of the future. Right now, Huawei has not announced drastic changes to its products yet. Existing Huawei products still support Google.

Of course, cybersecurity is another issue. The risk will always exist when foreign companies control the telecommunications equipment of another country. At the very least, the DICT isn’t treating the whole debacle as a non-issue. Hopefully, the department’s promises are an optimistic sign for the country’s telecommunications industry.

SEE ALSO: Huawei granted 90-day extension before total ban

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Report: Huawei to lose support from ARM, hampering its own chipsets

Things are getting even worse

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Despite Huawei’s gradual loss of support from US-based companies such as Google, Intel, and Broadcom, the Chinese manufacturer has faith in its ability to produce its own replacements. However, with the latest development, even that strategy may be facing a potentially catastrophic obstacle.

BBC has reported that chipset designer ARM informed employees to halt all business with Huawei. ARM is a vital resource for most mobile devices, because even though some brands like Samsung and Huawei can produce their own system-on-chip (SoC), the technologies need to be licensed from ARM before production.


Since ARM is based in the UK, this added blacklisting wasn’t seen as a possibility at first. Unfortunately, the company appears to be complying with the US’ trade ban, the reason being that its designs hold “US origin technology.”

Huawei’s semiconductor firm HiSilicon creates the Kirin processors found in the majority of the company’s smartphones and tablets. Most, if not all, require the ARM license. According to the same report, the upcoming Kirin 985 is clear of the ban, but anything after that will most likely have its production halted.

While Google and Huawei were given an additional 90 days to sort these issues out, no such order was given to ARM just yet, saying that the closed communication takes effect immediately. Huawei hasn’t given a statement about this as of writing.

Huawei is said to have enough components and licensing to last several months to a year of production, but that would only be a short-term solution. What lies ahead for Huawei may only get worse as more bad news rolls in.

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Singaporean, Philippine stores stop trading for Huawei phones

Consumers are going to online marketplaces instead

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A few days ago, the American government unleashed the most influential decision in recent smartphone history. Effective 90 days after the announcement, Huawei has been banned from conducting business with American companies. As a result, Google — and other relevant companiesblacklisted Huawei from its services.

Naturally, Huawei-induced paranoia is in full swing. Consumers have begun worrying over their favored handsets. Likewise, involved companies have begun assuaging everyone’s fears. Even then, fear is a difficult enemy to eradicate.


Case in point, Asian stores have started dropping Huawei devices from their business models. Particularly, smartphone retailers have ceased their trade-in programs for Huawei products. As reported by Reuters, Singaporean and Philippine markets are steering clear of the brand. Some stores have stopped selling Huawei products altogether.

According to the report, customers are rushing to sell their handsets as soon as possible. They have since flocked to trade-in programs and online marketplaces. For example, Huawei sales have doubled on Carousell, the popular online marketplace.

Unfortunately, brick-and-mortar retailers are not falling for the trend. “If we buy something that is useless, how are we going to sell it,” a Singaporean retailer said.

In the Philippines, smartphone stalls are expressing the same fear. Greenhills, a favored destination for smartphone reselling, has turned down Huawei phones. “We are no longer accepting Huawei phones. It will not be bought by our clients anymore,” a Greenhills saleswoman said. Meanwhile, some stalls are purchasing Huawei products only at 50 percent off.

At this rate, the Huawei ecosystem is slowly deteriorating. Consumers are dumping their handsets, regardless if old or new. Retailers are rushing to empty out their stocks. Owning a Huawei product is a risky gamble right now. However, if anything, no one knows how the situation will resolve itself as of yet.

SEE ALSO: Huawei and Google release official statements regarding trade blacklist

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