NTC confirms Mislatel as 3rd telco player
By Aerol John Pateña
MANILA (Philippines News Agency) — The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) formally confirmed Mislatel Consortium as the new major player in the telco industry this Monday.
This, after the joint venture of Udenna Corporation and China Telecom, passed the document verification phase conducted by the New Major Player Selection Committee that merited the final confirmation from the NTC En Banc.
“As we reached the end of the tunnel of this NMP search, the ball is now on Mislatel’s court to deliver on their promise,” Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said in a statement.
The DICT official expects the new major player to deliver on its commitments through establishing partnerships with small players.
“One of the best ways Mislatel can comply with its commitments is to use all existing facilities and services of the other small players. The NMP will spur business for small telcos and last mile links like CATV operators,” according to Rio.
Furthermore, the consortium was given ninety days to submit related documents including: congressional approval of its franchise; registration from the Securities and Exchange Commission; approval of the Philippine Competition Commission of its bidding agreement implementation; posting of the performance security bond and its rollout plan for the entire commitment period for the processing of its Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) by the NTC.
Mislatel has committed to provide Internet speeds of 55Mbps covering 84 percent of the population with capital expenditures (capex) of around PHP250 billion over a five-year period. The consortium stands to lose its performance bond of PHP 24 billion or 10 percent of its capex if it would fail to make good on its commitments.
Meanwhile, Mislatel said it expects to be able to start its commercial operations within a year and a half (18 months) of the issuance of its CPCN.
“We invite the other telco companies even Globe and Smart to work with us. If they work with us even bidders who lost like PT&T or those who did not to decide to bid like Converge kung papagamit nila yung ibang telecom facilities nila sa amin and we can use their backbone, which we can use the towers of Globe and Smart, mas maaga nating ma-rollout mas maaga tayo magkakaroon ng telco services. (We invite the other telco companies even Globe and Smart to work with us. If they work with us even bidders who lost like PT&T or those who did not to decide to bid like Converge if they shared their other telecom facilities to use and we can use their backbone, which we can use the towers of Globe and Smart, we will be able to rollout earlier. We will be able to experience telco services at a shorter time),” Mislatel spokesperson Atty. Adel Tamano said in a radio interview.
The consortium is eyeing to rollout 5G technology in the country within two years of its operations. “We are eyeing to rollout 5G technology within 2 years. 5G is the future of telecommunications,” according to Tamano.
He likewise assured that Mislatel will coordinate with government agencies such as the Department of National Defense (DND) and the National Security Council (NSC) to ensure that cybersecurity and national security concerns will be addressed.
“Under the terms of reference, mayroon kaming quarterly audit. One of the things that they will audit is are you really providing the mechanisms to ensure national security. Yung gobyerno natin ay di rin papayag na ma-undermine ang national security natin. Even in the plans that we will submit kasali na po yun how to protect and address that concern. (Under the terms of reference, there will be a quarterly audit. One of the things that they will audit is are you really providing the mechanisms to ensure national security. The government will not allow that our national security will be undermined. Even in the plans that we will submit we included measures on how to protect and address that concern),” according to Tamano.
The awarding of the new major player comes after the NTC has junked the motions of reconsideration filed by Sear Telecom and Philippine Telephone and Telegraph Corporation which was disqualified in the bidding conducted last November 7. (PNA)