Now, Philippinos Don't Have To Wait Six Years For A Phone

Upstart Bayantel is growing fast by besting a stodgy monopoly

It has been four years since former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew came to the Philippines for an economic powwow and stung his hosts with a jibe. Lee joked that 98% of the Philippines was waiting for a telephone, and the other 2% were waiting for a dial tone. A lot has changed since then. As a result of sweeping deregulation, the array of companies that have sprung up in the Philippines' newly competitive, rough-and-tumble phone market have revolutionized the industry. Rates have fallen as the new companies battle for business in what previously had been one of Asia's least-developed phone markets.

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