Telco rivals may end up as partners
The two Dennis Uys in the local business scene might end up as partners in the telecommunications space.
Converge ICT Solutions, a fixed broadband company that is seeking to go nationwide, signaled its openness to a commercial agreement with the Mislatel Consortium, a venture backed by China Telecom that was confirmed as the new major telco player last month.
Converge ICT is owned by Pampanga-based businessman Dennis Anthony H. Uy while Mislatel’s local partner is diversified company Udenna Corp., owned by Davao-based Dennis A. Uy.
“We don’t see any problem working with Mislatel if they require backhaul, backbone or even international [services],” Jesus Romero, ICT Converge chief operating officer, said.
A tie-up with local broadband companies was earlier floated by Adel Tamano, Mislatel’s spokesperson, in response to criticism that it might fail to meet its aggressive roll out targets.
Mislatel, which offered to spend P257 billion to launch a nationwide telco presence in five years, had promised to cover at least 37 percent of the country’s 100 million people in the first year alone.
Romero said Converge ICT was also engaged in the wholesale bandwidth business, adding that Mislatel could be a customer.
“We have a network today that covers 50 percent of the population,” he added. He said their coverage area spanned the National Capital Region, Central Luzon and South Luzon.
Last August, Converge ICT partnered with South Korea’s KT Corp., affiliate Fibernet Konstrukt and United States-based TE Connectivity Subcom to lay down fiber lines and submarine cables across the Philippines within five years.
This will allow it to expand to areas such as North Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Romero said other parties, including groups that were keen on the government’s third telco initiative, had previously approached Converge ICT for commercial tie-ups.
“We are open to supporting anyone,” he said.
Converge ICT is targeting 13 million of the country’s 22 million households. Its major competitors in the fixed-line space include PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom.
Mislatel is currently undergoing a post-qualification phase before it can be awarded a set of 3G, 4G and potential 5G frequencies to mount mobile services. By the end of its first five years, the new major telco player had also promised to cover 84 percent of the country’s population and offer a minimum average broadband speed of 55 Megabits per second.
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