ABS-CBN Convergence seeking to extend legislative franchise

A lawmaker filed a bill seeking to extend the franchise of ABS-CBN Corp.’s telecommunications unit by another 25 years, as ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc. looks to focus on the wireless broadband business.

Pwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Party-list Rep. Jericho Jonas B. Nograles filed House Bill 3064, which proposes to extend ABS-CBN Convergence’s current franchise which expires in 2022.

“ABS-CBN Convergence sees a lot of opportunities in the wireless market, especially in the wireless broadband segment… Wireless broadband service is seen by ASB-CBN Convergence as the preferred choice of service due to its ease in use and mobility,” Mr. Nograles said in the bill’s explanatory note.

“As such, ABS-CBN Convergence decided that it will expand its current wireless business by introducing more products and partnerships,” he added.

Mr. Nograles said the extension of the company’s franchise will allow it to continue providing telecommunications services “at rates affordable to the consuming public.”

ABS-CBN Convergence, then known as Multi-Media Telephony, Inc., was first granted a franchise under Republic Act no. 8332 in 1997.

The company was given a public mobile telecommunications systems license by the National Telecommunications Commission in 2005, allowing it to start a mobile phone service.

ABS-CBN Convergence in 2015 signed a five-year, network sharing deal with Globe Telecom, Inc. ABS-CBNmobile was launched as a mobile virtual network operator offering text, call and data services using Globe’s network.

The company shuttered ABS-CBNmobile in November 2018, saying the business model was “financially unsustainable.”

ABS-CBN Convergence also operates a digital terrestrial television service under ABS-CBN TV Plus.

Parent company ABS-CBN Corp. is also awaiting the renewal of its legislative franchise, which expires next year.

Amid uncertainty surrounding its franchise renewal, the Lopez-led media giant has been beefing up its digital media business. — bworldonline

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