Report on Broadcasting in the Philippines
The Philippines has a vibrant media sector. Ownership has been predominantly private and freedom of the press is guaranteed by the Constitution.
The first television broadcast was in 1953. There are six free-to-air nationwide television networks. Cable TV was launched as long ago as 1969, but it is only now starting to really grow, substantially boosted by the prospect of bundling broadcasting with Internet, telephony and other services. While DTH satellite TV has been available in the Philippines since 1999, its large scale adoption awaits the entry of a major player - possibly PLDT - into the market. This report provides a broad overview of the Philippines television broadcasting market.
It is estimated that almost nine out of every ten Philippine households has access to a TV set. The number of TV sets in the Philippines by end-2008 was estimated at almost 20 million for a population of 90 million people.
The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the country's dominant telephone carrier, had been progressively buying its way into the media sector in an ongoing push to secure interests across broadcast TV, cable TV and the Direct-to-Home (DTH) satellite platforms. In a move that looked likely to change the face of Philippines broadcasting and telecommunications, PLDT signed an agreement in February 2001 to acquire a controlling interest (66.67%) in the country's second largest broadcaster, GMA Network Inc.
The proposed acquisition obtained the required congressional approval in August 2001. By late 2001, however, relations between the two companies turned sour, when PLDT, which had promised to pay GMA US$166 million for a controlling share in the media company, quit the deal. PLDT claimed that it had no choice but to withdraw from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it had signed with GMA because of concerns over servicing its US$1.3 billion debt which was set to mature in 2005. PLDT's total debt at the time amounted to US$2.8 billion.
In fact, PLDT and GMA never reached a formal purchase agreement even after the due diligence was completed. GMA was pondering legal recourse. On its part, PLDT suggested that it had merely 'deferred' acquisition and that it would resume negotiations 'when the economy improves'. Clearly though, GMA's plans to expand into television, Internet, satellite and wireless services under its convergence program had been put on hold.
As far as PLDT's plans to become a full-content provider were concerned, PLDT had argued that its convergence strategy remained intact. Mediaquest Holdings Inc, the PLDT vehicle in the plan to acquire GMA, owned Home Cable Inc through Unilink Communications Corp. Mediaquest also held a controlling interest in Nation Broadcasting Corp (NBC) which operated a network of 30 radio stations. PLDT had been moving to build up its capacity to provide content through other means, especially Internet-based content. It had also acquired a cable company and INFOCOM, an Internet Service Provider (ISP).
While the presence of PLDT would increase competition in the television broadcasting sector, only the inflow of more foreign investments into the sector would enable Philippine broadcasters to contemplate providing other services such as digital TV.
A draft Cable TV Act has been in the pipeline for some time. If formally adopted, it would allow foreign equity of 30% and cable systems would be subject to laws banning piracy and under-reporting. However, a rival bill that allowed 40% outside equity and more than the mandatory five minutes per hour paid advertising, was also under consideration. However, the progress of the cable TV legislation has not been smooth.
The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the Philippines telecom regulator, was preparing to issue a set of rules in September 2003 that would govern cable TV operations and place foreign cable providers under its jurisdiction. A set of draft regulations had been sent to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for review.
A public consultation had been held in May 2003, with a further one expected before the new cable regulations were issued. Foreign cable program providers were not happy with the proposed policy change. The new rules were reportedly not being supported by the foreign pay TV channels and content providers represented by the Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA). In a position paper submitted to the NTC, CASBAA said it was concerned with the move of the NTC to make changes in the regulatory policy for conducting business in the cable industry.
In August 2005, PLDT asked Philippine Multi-Media System, operator of Dream Satellite TV, to lower its asking price. It was reported that Philippine Multi-Media System wanted US$56 million for the company, but PLDT was only willing to pay US$25 million. Sources said PLDT and the broadcast satellite provider nearly struck a deal, but did not push through due to price disagreements.
Both parties said negotiations were still ongoing. Acquiring Dream Satellite was considered crucial to plans for the joint venture of PLDT and America's largest direct-TV content provider, Echostar Communications, to finally take off. PLDT and Echostar planned to invest US$85 million to start pay TV operations in the Philippines through satellite receivers and not via the traditional cable system that has been prone to piracy and signal theft. Dream had been using PLDT's Mabuhay Satellite to broadcast content to more than 100,000 subscribers nationwide. Dream noted that it was not seeking the sale, but was reacting to an offer made to it. The company said it was a fast growing company, being the second-largest pay TV operator in the country.
In another report released in September 2005, it was noted that PLDT was continuing its negotiations to acquire Philippine Multi-Media System. While it was emphasised by PLDT that no final agreement had been reached between the parties, the media had mentioned the parties were zeroing in on a price of US$22 million (about PHP1.23 billion) for the purchase. In December 2005, PLDT confirmed that talks with Philippine Multi-Media System had become bogged down.
This had resulted in the shelving of the plan to go into the DTH TV business with Echostar. The company said that, as the talks with Dream were not proceeding, it had to reassess its approach to the TV business. It had even been considering the option of IPTV instead of DTH as a platform. For the time being, PLDT said it would 'let the dust settle on its failed acquisition plan'.
In March 2006, CASBAA and the Philippine Cable Television Association (PCTA) signed an agreement that reinforced their partnership to promote and protect intellectual property rights in the pay TV industry. CASBAA, a regional industry association dedicated to the promotion of multi-channel television via cable, satellite, broadband and wireless video networks across the Asia-Pacific, represents some 110 Asia-based companies and organisations.
The PCTA is composed of the biggest cable operators in the Philippines, as well as medium and small cable operators, and PCTA's member cable operators serve 90% of the total cable subscribers in the Philippines. The agreement signified the commitment of CASBAA and the PCTA to advance their mutual goal to arrest the growing piracy problem in the country. Both had been trying to build public concern over signal theft in the Philippines, a problem that had reached epidemic proportions. The CASBAA and the PCTA planned to jointly organise a Philippine Pay TV Summit later in 2006 in order to raise industry and public sector awareness on intellectual property issues for cable, satellite and broadband markets in the Philippines.
In what was considered a surprise move, Smart said it planned to roll out a mobile TV service during the second half of 2007. Smart was expected to invest around US$50 million on rolling out the service using Digital Video Broadcasting-Handheld (DVB-H) technology, but had not confirmed where it would source content.
The NTC published a draft of revised consumer protection rules in March 2007 covering the provision of telecommunications, broadcasting and Cable TV (CATV) services. The draft detailed the responsibility that all communications and broadcasting companies would have towards consumers including the protection of data and privacy rights.
Media Prima Berhad (MPB), Malaysia's largest integrated media group, established a private equity fund, the MPB Strategic Media Fund Limited Partnership, in May 2008. This fund was set to invest US$31 million in Associated Broadcasting Company's (ABC) main TV station, ABC5. The group's first task was to turn around the loss-making ABC5, which could only claim 1% of TV viewership and advertising expenditure in the Philippines at the time.
In line with local regulations, there were to be no equity investments by the Media Fund in ABC5. Instead, MPB had set up a 70%-owned Philippine subsidiary, MPB Primedia Inc, with the remaining stake held by SBC Markwendell Inc, which was involved in the trading of air time. The newly created company would enter into a block air-time and consultancy agreement with the station while MPB will provide the content and manage the sale of air time. The company has a huge task ahead to convert ABC5 into a third key player in a market already 80% dominated by ABS-CBN Broadcasting and GMA Network, leaving ABC5 to share the rest with 16 other smaller stations.
However since a local group acquired it in October 2003, ABC5 has seen improvements in several areas. MPB sees good prospects not just for ABC5 but also for the entire Philippine broadcast industry. Reports say TV penetration in the country is currently close to 73% while total advertising spend has been growing strongly in recent years, with TV accounting for more than 75% of the US$2.8 billion recorded in 2006.
After failing to close a deal to acquire a satellite-based pay TV company, PLDT announced in 2005 that it was looking at a move into Internet-based broadcast media and the possibility of launching an IPTV service. The operator was considering a business model similar to what PCCW had applied in the Hong Kong market, where PCCW's IPTV had over half a million subscribers. PLDT said it would evaluate whether to adopt a new technology like IPTV following what PCCW had done or stick with the existing system.
BayanTel was reportedly planning to also launch an Internet-based broadcasting service in 2007. It was understood that the master plan of the parent company, the Lopez Group, included the roll-out of a proposed IPTV service across the country. The telecom operator was understood to have created a special group composed of executives from Lopez Group subsidiaries.
The executives were drawn from companies engaged in mass media, including FTA TV channel operator ABS-CBN Broadcasting, cable TV operator Sky Cable and BayanTel. The executive group was expected to make a decision on the equipment for the proposed IPTV project. BayanTel was keen to develop IPTV as a triple play service by bundling the video content of ABS-CBN and Sky Cable with BayanTel's telephony and Internet services and selling the resulting package at a discounted rate.
In March 2006 Alcatel Asia began a campaign to champion IPTV in the Philippines to solve the problem of delivering Internet and broadband-related services in under-served rural areas. According to the company's Innovation and Market Development Division, IPTV, which used normal TV sets as communication equipment for voice, Internet and video services, could solve the problem of providing high speed broadband access and Video-on-Demand (VoD) in those areas. The service required high bandwidth infrastructure and Alcatel predicted that the first such services would appear within the next two years as carriers started to upgrade their networks to broadband.
GMA Network Inc, the country's leading FTA television broadcaster, announced in August 2008 that it was set to launch its IPTV or video-on-demand service in September. The new service, branded MyGMA, would be the network's Internet channel where its programs could be viewed using a personal computer with a broadband connection. Access to the services was being offered either via a one-day or one-month pass. The service was aimed especially at Filipinos working abroad. Close to nine million Filipinos or over one-tenth of the Philippine population work overseas.
Cable television (CATV) was introduced to the Philippines in 1969. The government created a monopoly in 1977 when it awarded a nationwide franchise to one company. Ten years later it liberalised the market. By the end of 2001, there were almost 1,200 licensed cable TV operators in the country. However, perhaps less than 50% were actually in operation and three major ones dominated the market.
The top three CATV providers were Sky Cable, Home Cable and Destiny Cable. They also offered cable Internet in Metro Manila and a few outlying locations. Their migration to the Internet opened a new revenue stream that a few of the other larger CATV providers were expected to copy. By and large, however, CATV was mostly the domain of small enterprises that were unwilling to move into cable Internet because of the costs involved.
Sky Cable, an affiliate of telecom company BayanTel, and Home Cable, a subsidiary of PLDT, announced a preliminary agreement in April 2001 to merge their respective cable operations. The merger was aimed at encouraging the general development of CATV in the Philippines, rationalising infrastructure development, lowering programming costs and providing richer content and a wider range of programming choices for viewers.
It was also expected to create a financially stronger entity, benefiting the consumer with a higher quality of service, and the introduction of the latest features that CATV technology could offer. The cable industry had a need for critical new growth platforms given its level of unprofitability.
Sky Cable and Home Cable had started their exploratory talks on the possibility of a merger in 2000, following the global trend towards consolidation in the communications carrier business, including cable television. Rising costs of investment in expanding network coverage and in enhancing technical capabilities had made the consolidation option necessary. The expenses related to programming of content had also been increasing, particularly as a consequence of the depreciation of the peso.
The economic interest of Home Cable Inc, controlled by MediaQuest and PLDT, and shares of Central CATV Inc and Pilipino Cable Corporation (Sky Cable), controlled by the Benpres Group, were to be consolidated into a new holding company, to be initially owned equally by Home and Sky. In addition, excess convertible notes of the new holding company given to Benpres in exchange for its additional shares in Sky were to be offered to a strategic investor, which was expected to provide added value to the merged operation. The merger was also subject to due diligence on the part of both parties and to other closing conditions, including the relevant regulatory approvals.
The three major operators - Sky, Home and Destiny - between them had some 60% of the estimated 1.3 million CATV subscribers nationwide at end-2001. The remaining subscribers were divided among some 800 (mostly small) operators throughout the country. Sky, the largest CATV provider at the time, claimed about 410,000 subscribers, or about 25% of the market, in 2001.
The major companies were offering around 100 channels between them and carried a range of programming from CNN and BBC World to the Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Filipino language programming had been increasing in popularity with the three majors scrambling to meet demand. Also offered was a range of worldwide box-office hits from HBO Asia, MGM Gold, Cinemax and the Star TV Network.
The government's Executive Order (EO) 205 deregulated CATV and classified it as a form of commercial mass media. The order also banned foreign investors from this sector, as the 1987 Philippine Constitution allowed only Filipino citizens to engage in mass media.
The CATV industry made progress during 2000 in amending the 100% Filipino ownership requirement mandated by EO 205. The Philippine Senate endorsed a cable TV Bill allowing foreigners to own up to 30% of cable TV companies.
Small cable operators which were members of the Federation of International Cable TV Association of the Philippines (FICAP) opposed the Bill and its foreign ownership provision, which they said was unconstitutional. These small operators, which were mainly providing service in small cities and towns, said only the big cable TV companies would benefit from the Bill. On the other hand, the Philippine Cable Television Association (PCTA) supported the Bill and claimed that foreign ownership was needed because cable TV operations were costly to sustain. PCTA members included Sky, Home and Destiny.
The FICAP submitted a substantial position paper to the government outlining its position on the proposed Cable TV Bills. In its submission, FICAP vigorously opposed the requirement to make CATV licences subject to congressional approval. There was also strong objection to opening the CATV market up to any foreign investment.
The House of Representatives passed the Bill on final reading in early 2001.
CASBAA announced in January 2006 that it had filed 12 copyright infringement actions with the Department of Justice in Manila against Maguindanao Skycable, a CATV operator based in Cotabato City. Maguindanao Skycable was one of several cable operators raided in September 2005 by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Intellectual Property Rights Division for illegally acquiring and transmitting copyrighted programming from major broadcasting organisations. According to CASBAA, despite the NBI-led raids, the cable operator had continued to air numerous cable channels without the necessary authorisation from the owners. CASBAA filed the complaints on behalf of members owning the copyright for channels AXN, CNN International, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, the Disney Channel, ESPN, Star Sports, HBO Asia, MTV Asia, National Geographic, Star Movies, Star World and Star Sports.
As part of PLDT's consolidation and expansion in the market, the company agreed in July 2001 to merge its cable TV business, Home Cable, the country's second largest CATV provider, with market leader Sky Vision, a company which was majority-owned by local conglomerate Benpres Holdings Corp. Sky Vision was offering CATV services under the trade name SkyCable. Under the agreement the two cable TV operators, which were offering nearly 140 channels between them at the time, were to be spun off into a new company in which PLDT and Benpres would each have a one-third shareholding. The remaining third was expected to be owned by a strategic, probably foreign, investor.
The driving force behind the merger was the substantial capital investment required to expand and upgrade both networks, together with rising operating costs. The merger also supported PLDT's convergence strategy, strengthening CATV as an alternative platform for delivery of data, voice and video to the home.
The merged entity was well positioned to dominate the CATV market with the opportunity of grabbing up to 80% of market share. Among the services likely to be provided were multi-channel video broadcasting, pay-per-view services, interactive video, voice and data services, VoD, high-speed Internet access over cable, voice services over cable and interactive television.
Interactive TV and VoD were tested in selected areas of Metro Manila in 2000, followed by a commercial service in 2001. This was part of Yes-Sky Interactive Corp, a joint venture by Yes Television (YTV) and Sky Vision Corp.
PMSI selected interactive television and media solutions company, OpenTV, in May 2001 to provide PMSI's subscribers with OpenTV's iTV technology. This was the first commercial deployment of iTV technology in the Philippines. Popular iTV applications included short messaging, email and gaming.
With more than 2,200km of cable rolled out in Metro Manila and through joint partnerships with 75 affiliates and nine subsidiaries nationwide, Sky Cable had the Philippines' most extensive cable network. It offered cable TV services and pay-per-view services in hotels and cable Internet services via Sky Cable Net, its Internet subsidiary, and ZPDee, a broadband cable Internet service.
Traditionally services had been only offered to customers in Manila's wealthier suburbs, where there were 100,000 subscribers. Sky Cable had ventured beyond this area, however, offering services to the middle class in major cities. This expansion was to enable Benpres to offer programming services to the 200 plus other cable TV systems in the country.
Sky signed a technology partnership with Yes Television (UK) in 1999 in a bid to create Asia's first VoD service on a cable network. Called Yes-Sky Interactive Corp, the company was established for the purpose of offering VoD and iTV nationwide, see chapter 3.2.3.
According to MPA, Sky Cable had 485,000 subscribers by early 2005.
Sky Cable was subsequently re-branded as Beyond Cable.
A PLDT subsidiary, Home Cable carried some 60 channels. It had around 270,000 subscribers in 2001, three-quarters of which were in Metro Manila. A 50,000 strong cable modem service for business customers had been made available by PLDT in association with ISP Cable.net and technology provider NewGen IT Corp.
Home Cable was acquired by PLDT from Unilink Communications in 1999 in line with PLDT's convergence strategy. It had often partnered with another PLDT subsidiary, the ISP Infocom Technologies, in offering broadband Internet access over cable.
During 2000, Home Cable launched its 'Now' cable Internet service initially available in Metro Manila. Home Cable's broadband platform allowed the PLDT group to deliver bundled service offerings through a single network connection into the home or office. Home Cable also expanded to other major cities to challenge Sky Cable, which had around 30% of the Mindanao CATV market.
In 1999 Destiny became the first major CATV provider to offer cable Internet access to subscribers. Its 2001 subscriber base was estimated at 60,000, almost all in Metro Manila. Destiny's use of creative marketing, such as offering a free TV in return for subscribing to its cable TV service, contributed to its fairly rapid growth since 1996. It indicated that it was on the lookout for a strategic partner and had talked to Globe Telecom about a partnership.
In March 2003, through an alliance with Destiny Cable, Bell Telecommunication Philippines Inc (BellTel) began to offer iCable, an integrated telephone, broadband Internet and CATV service to residents and businesses within the Greater Metro Manila area. The service provided consumers with telephone, high-speed Internet and CATV in one package. The service was the first of its kind in the Philippines; similar bundled services were being offered in South Korea, Australia and US at the time. The companies were targeting the high-end residential areas that demanded always-on broadband access.
According to MPA, Destiny Cable had 70,000 subscribers in early 2005 and had been re-branded Global Destiny Cable.
Cable telephony was launched in 2001 when Sky Cable began offering this service to its Metro Manila subscribers. Sky Cable had tried out the service in Davao City and Naga City and the results were apparently encouraging enough for it to launch in Metro Manila. PLDT announced an interest in offering the service through its CATV subsidiary, Home Cable, after it had carried out the necessary testing. The provision of cable telephony further exploited the versatility of cable as a medium for delivering broadband services. Cable networks had begun to provide TV, cable Internet and pay-per-view services.
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation (ABS-CBN) was ranked as the largest media broadcasting company in the Philippines, operating a network that reached more than 95% of the country's television households. ABS-CBN airs its television broadcasts 20 hours a day on Channel 2 in Metro Manila and through its TV stations and affiliates throughout the Philippines. The company claimed that Channel 2 was the most popular television station in the country with an average audience share of 45%. ABS-CBN had effectively cornered the market, claiming to have more than two-thirds of the advertising revenue. The company owned and operated 26 television broadcasting stations and 10 affiliate stations. These stations provided ABS-CBN with the broadest signal coverage of any network in the Philippines. Radio programming was broadcast through its 17 radio stations and six affiliate radio stations, and engaged in a variety of media-related businesses.
ABS-CBN produced and broadcast a wide variety of television programs, including newscasts, variety and talk shows, telenovelas (long-running drama series), drama anthologies, situation comedies, musical specials, movies, game shows, sporting events and public affairs programs.
Most of the company's revenue had been derived from selling advertising time on its television and radio broadcasts. The other component of consolidated net revenue was net sales and services by its subsidiaries, primarily sales by ABS-CBN International, Roadrunner, Star Records and Star Magic. ABS-CBN had unconsolidated equity interests in Star Cinema and Amcara Broadcasting Network Inc, through which it operated the Studio 23 TV network.
In August 2005, ABS-CBN extended its relationship with BT Media and Broadcast (BT M&B) to encompass the management of its entire European network, including service support, operations, satellite and fibre capacity management. Under the deal, BT M&B was also to become ABS-CBN's single outsourcing partner.
GMA was the country's second-ranked TV network and claimed to be the most awarded. Aside from its television network, which was led by Channel 7, GMA operated more than 40 radio stations nationwide. It was a privately held company owned by three families. GMA had been trying to take the battle to market leader ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. With Channel 7, a leading VHF FTA broadcaster, and two UHF channels (27 and 41), GMA had an edge over ABS-CBN in the number of FTA channels. This compared with VHF Channel 2 and the UHF Channel 23 operated by ABS-CBN.
The country's major telecoms operator, PLDT, had been trying to move into the TV broadcasting sector and had become a serious player in both the FTA and pay TV markets. One of PLDT's acquired subsidiaries, Nation Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), began broadcasting the popular MTV channel 24 hours a day on its Channel 41 in 2000. It came as no surprise then, when in April 2001 PLDT negotiated a deal with GMA to acquire a 66.67% stake in GMA Network Inc, via PLDT affiliate MediaQuest Holdings, for PHP8.5 billion (US$155 million). PLDT's aim in acquiring GMA was to provide content for its growing multimedia business. Immediately following the move, PLDT announced a US$20 million investment to boost GMA's transmitting power. Under PLDT, GMA was expected to become a fierce competitor to ABS-CBN. Late in 2001, however, the deal collapsed when PLDT unexpectedly withdrew from the MoU arrangement it had signed with GMA. After the due diligence of GMA's books, the telecom operator reduced its valuation of the television company to about PHP12 billion (US$219 million), up from PHP14.58 billion (US$267 million).
Globe Telecom, the country's second largest telecoms provider, had previously mounted an approach to acquire GMA. Globe had reportedly moved to acquire ABC Channel 5, the country's third ranking TV network, instead.
By May 2005 PLDT had apparently not given up plans to own a television station and was continuing to woo the owners of GMA Network to sell. GMA confirmed that PLDT remained interested in acquiring Channel 7, the most profitable broadcast network in the country. With GMA's market value estimated at about PHP30 billion (US$549 million), PLDT would have to make a very attractive offer for the network's major shareholders to consider selling.
Other FTA broadcasters include: People's Television Network (PTV Channel 4), the country's only government-owned TV network. Programming consists mainly of developmental and TV shopping shows. Practically no live entertainment programs.
Associated Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) operates Channel 5 and broadcasts many American hit TV shows. It has remained conservative in news broadcasts and has not imitated the 'shout' style of first-person news broadcasting popularised by Channels 2 and 7.
RPN Channel 9 prime time shows are mostly American hit programs. It has revamped its news shows along the lines of those of Channels 2 and 7.
Channel 11 or Zoe TV has allowed TV shopping into its Christian programming line-up.
Channel 13 was transformed into Viva TV, featuring mostly Philippine blockbuster movies produced by Viva Films. It bills itself as the sports and entertainment channel but is better known for its basketball programming. The channel airs more American movies on prime time than any VHF channel.In August 2005, PLDT was looking at acquiring RPN Channel 9, the television and radio organisation controlled by the Philippine Government. Industry sources said PLDT was looking for a partner to help it buy and operate the broadcast network. The report followed an earlier announcement by the government that it planned to sell a number of major assets, including RPN9, in 2006.
Although several attempts had been made to launch a large scale DTH TV service in the Philippines and make it a credible alternative to cable, Philippine Multi-Media System Inc (PMSI), with its Dream Broadcasting service, had remained the only digital DTH operator in the Philippines (up until 2008). The company launched its DTH satellite-based TV entertainment system in partnership with Philips, Lysis, Mabuhay Philippine Satellite Corp, Nokia, NagraVision and Brightpoint Philippines. Marketed under the brand name Dream, PMSI's services were capable of reaching the entire nation using wireless communication via satellite.
PMSI launched a DTH TV service branded as Dream Broadcasting System (DBS) in early 2001. The company also offered satellite-based high-speed Internet access through the DreamVSAT service, which made use of the existing DBS network.
PLDT's pursuit of convergence had seen the operator branch out into DTH services. In early 2001, it announced a definite commitment to providing DTH. It was thought that PLDT could be leaning more towards acquiring a DTH company rather than applying for a licence of its own or entering into a joint venture with a licensed DTH company. PLDT was prepared to invest up to US$100 million to kick start its foray into DTH.
DTH satellite companies that had been targeted by PLDT included PMSI, Pacific Cable and DTU Systems, Altimax and Telesis. PLDT had held discussions with PMSI as well as Telesis, whose partner was Lockheed Martin Telecommunications.