Metro Manila to benefit from 3rd telco service
Metro Manila residents can avail themselves of the third telco player’s services on its first full year of operations. People living in Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines, are less fortunate, with the rollout ignoring the area completely in the first five years.
Those were some of the data included in the bid documents submitted by Mislatel Consortium, the venture between businessman Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Corp. and China Telecom that was named the provisional third telco last month.
The documents, which included the so-called Form A that outlined the nationwide coverage plan, was published by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) this week.
In its submission, Mislatel will give full coverage to the National Capital Region’s 12.8 million residents in the first year.
Also on the first year, there will be significant coverage in Region IV-A (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley and the Ilocos Region.
Other provinces and regions such as Bicol, Cebu, Davao and Samar will see coverage in the second year of the third telco’s operations.
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which includes Lanao del Sur and its capital city, the battle-torn Marawi, will see coverage beginning the third year. The regions that include Palawan and Zamboanga will also see their rollout start in the third year.
Mislatel Consortium had promised to cover at least 37 percent of the country’s 100 million people in the first year, when it also committed a minimum average internet speed of 27 megabits (Mbps) per second.
According to the NTC, an area is considered covered if at least 80 percent of a barangay has access to fixed and wireless mobile services.
By the end of the five-year commitment, it would have covered 84 percent of the population and increased its internet speed to 55 Mbps.
This will leave around 16.2 million people without access to the third telco’s services in the first five years. Moreover, data complied by ICT advocacy group Democracy.Net.PH, some 12,000 rural barangays will not be covered by the third telco.
The decision to exclude Batanes, which has a population of about 17,000 people, was likely due to the fact that the NTC’s selection rules favored population coverage instead of geographic coverage.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.