Telstra to shake up 'lousy' Philippines telcos with $1B venture

Telstra Philippines investment

The Philippines telco duopoly leaves quite a bit to be desired, according to Andy Penn, CEO of Australian telco Telstra.

Speaking at Telstra's annual investor day, Penn described the service offered by the country's incumbent operators, PLDT and Globe Telecom, as "lousy".

Penn also explained that the situation presented an opportunity for a new operator to enter the market and provide a superior service – an opportunity Telstra is keen to capitalise on.

Telstra will invest up to US$1 billion in a planned wireless joint venture with the San Miguel Corporation.

Grand plans

The investment would see Telstra own 40 per cent of the venture, with San Miguel Corp. and a number of banks providing the rest.

The parties are yet to reach an agreement, but talks have been ongoing since August.

The move would align with Penn's strategy to transform Telstra into an international brand, starting with an expansion of its operations in Asia.

It's not Telstra's first move into territories outside Australia. Earlier this year Telstra spent US$697 million acquiring Pacnet, an internet services company based in Hong Kong and Singapore.

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