09.19.2008 Manila, Philippines, September 17, 2008 - Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), its subsidiary Mabuhay Satellite Corporation (Mabuhay), and ProtoStar Ltd. (ProtoStar), a Bermuda company, announced today the signing of several agreements covering multiple areas of cooperation.
PLDT/Mabuhay and ProtoStar Agree to Collaborate on Expanded Satellite Services
Key aspects of the agreements include: an exchange of certain Mabuhay assets for an equity position in ProtoStar; expanded use of Mabuhayâ€™s Subic Space Center for the operation and control of satellites; an option for PLDT to make further investments in ProtoStar, and an agreement for PLDT to lease C band transponder capacity on ProtoStarâ€™s recently launched ProtoStar I satellite. Overall, the agreements should enhance ProtoStarâ€™s pan-Asian reach while extending Mabuhayâ€™s presence in the region.
ProtoStar I was successfully launched on July 7, 2008 from Kourou, French Guiana. ProtoStar I has on board 22 Ku-band transponders and 38 C-band transponders (all 36Mhz equivalents). The Ku-band transponders will support the rapidly expanding Direct-to-Home (â€œDTHâ€) television markets of India and IndoChina, while the C-band transponders will serve the rapidly growing cellular phone markets of Southeast Asia.
A ProtoStar II satellite is now in its final manufacturing stages with a scheduled launch in the spring of 2009. ProtoStar plans to develop and launch several other satellites in the coming years to serve Asiaâ€™s businesses requiring transponder capacity.
PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan stated that â€œPLDTâ€™s investment in ProtoStar affirms PLDTâ€™s commitment to the telecommunications industry and provides a platform for future growth in the industry through one of Asiaâ€™s upcoming regional satellite operators.â€
PLDT President and CEO and Mabuhay Chairman Napoleon L. Nazareno added that â€œPLDT and Mabuhayâ€™s collaboration with ProtoStar will enable PLDT to enjoy full diversity and protection for its satellite needs as ProtoStar continues with its satellite fleet expansion plans. The PLDT group uses significant satellite capacity for its GSM backhaul requirements for its rural cell sites, and this diversification will add to the robustness of the PLDT Groupâ€™s network.â€
â€œWe are happy that ProtoStar has found value in Mabuhayâ€™s Satellite Telemetry, Tracking and Control capabilities which have been built through our experience in ably operating the Agila-2 satellite. This collaboration with ProtoStar ushers Philippine satellite operations into a new era of growth,â€ said Gabriel Z. Pimentel, Mabuhay President and CEO.
Philip Father, President and CEO of ProtoStar Ltd., added that â€œthis collaboration represents a win-win-win for PLDT, Mabuhay and ProtoStar in that together we expand our satellite fleets and customer base as well as our ground systems in a value-adding strategic manner that is terrific for our respective customers and shareholders.â€
PLDT is the leading telecommunications service provider in the Philippines. Through its three principal business groups â€” wireless, fixed line, and information and communications technology â€” PLDT offers the largest and most diversified range of telecommunications services across the Philippinesâ€™ most extensive fiber optic backbone and wireless, fixed line and satellite networks.
PLDT is listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE:TEL) and its American Depositary Shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:PHI). PLDT has one of the largest market capitalizations among Philippine-listed companies.
Further information can be obtained by visiting the web at www.pldt.com.ph.
About Mabuhay Satellite Corporation
Mabuhay Satellite Corporation (MSC), a subsidiary of PLDT, is the first and only Philippine satellite operator. MSC is engaged in the business of owning, operating and maintaining international satellite facilities and other forms of telecommunications equipment capable of providing international and domestic communication links to telecommunications, broadcast and other public utility companies in the Philippines and other countries. On August 20, 1997, MSC successfully launched Agila 2, a communications satellite located at the 146Â° East Orbital slot. MSC offers video, IP, and telecommunications solutions for clients in Asia and North America.
MSCâ€™s Agila 2, with its already expansive Asian and transpacific coverage, is further complemented by the connectivity of PLDT and by strong entrepreneurial relationships with major teleport and satellite operators and integrators in Asia and the United States of America. With these networks MSC has been providing interconnectivity to major fiber and satellite-based communications networks in Asia and North America. It also hosts broadcasters, international news agencies, teleport operators and international channels for their domestic and international distribution requirements.
In February 2001, MSC received a certification from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, for Agila 2, establishing it as the first Asian on the FCCâ€™s Permitted Space Station List. Agila 2 joins six other non-U.S. satellites on the select list. The granting of the certification indicates that Agila 2 fully complies with the FCCâ€™s technical requirements and allows U.S.-owned and operated earth stations to communicate with Agila 2.
Further information can be obtained by visiting the web at www.mabuhaysat.com.
ProtoStar Ltd., a Bermuda company with subsidiaries in Bermuda, San Francisco, CA and Singapore, was formed to acquire and operate high-power geostationary satellites optimized for DTH satellite television, broadband Internet and GSM cellular backhaul service providers across the Asia-Pacific region. The firm is led by seasoned veterans from the satellite, direct-to-home television, telecommunications and finance industries. For more information please visit: www.protostarsat.com.
Gabriel Z. Pimentel
President & CEO,
Mabuhay Satellite Corporation
Tel No: +63 2 8875788 local 110
Fax No: +63 2 8875789
Melissa V. Vergel De Dios
Head, PLDT Investor Relations
Tel No: +63 2 8168204
Fax No: +63 2 8107138
Ramon R. Isberto
Tel. No.: +63 2 5113101
Fax No.: +63 2 5113100
Horace A. Lavides
PLDT Senior Manager
Tel. No.: +63 2 8168684