By announcing it will spend up to US$1 billion for a planned wireless joint venture with San Miguel Corporation in the Philippines, Telstra slammed the telcos currently operating in the country, Tech in Asia reports.
Both Telstra and San Miguel will put money into the venture, while more investment is expected from external sources, Telstra's chief Andy Penn told investors.
For the time being, however, the two firms are still in the process of agreeing upon a deal, which, once both parties are satisfied, could shake-up the duopoly of telcos PLDT and Globe Telecom in the archipelago.
Penn pulled no punches on the current state of affairs in the Philippines as far as service is concerned:
"Frankly, let's face it, go to the Philippines and experience the lousy service you get from the incumbent operators and you will see that [there's] opportunity for a new operator to provide a much better quality service ... I think there's a significant opportunity," Penn was quoted as saying in The Australian.
San Miguel, the Philippines' largest corporation in terms of revenue, appears to be determined to create waves in the country's telecoms sector and continues to roll out its mobile telecoms network through Bell Telecommunications.
The joint venture would represent a further move away from its traditional food and beer businesses, with it increasingly channelling its energies into heavy industries such as infrastructure, power, oil refining, and telecoms.
Meanwhile, Telstra is no stranger to Asia having acquired Singapore and Hong Kong-based internet services company, Pacnet, for US$697 million earlier this year. The Melbourne-based firm has put some US$3.56 billion aside for Asian ventures.