Mislatel Consortium eyes permit to operate by July
China Telecom-backed Mislatel Consortium, which was named the country’s third mobile player late last year, is hoping to obtain its license to operate by next month.
The consortium’s ambitions to launch a mobile service to rival incumbents PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom saw a slight delay due to the May midterm elections.
“We’re really hoping to get everything fixed by July,” Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy, CEO of Mislatel Consortium member Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp., said in a stock exchange filing on Friday.
He was referring to the fulfillment of certain requirements, which include the capital restructuring of Mislatel’s corporate vehicle and the posting of a performance bond. Once this is completed, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) can move forward with awarding Mislatel a license to operate apart from a coveted set of 3G, 4G and potential 5G radio frequencies.
In line with this, Chelsea announced on Friday the signing of a share purchase agreement to gain control of telco franchise holder Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co., which would be the vehicle to launch its mobile service by 2020.
The share purchase agreement was signed between Chelsea, Udenna Corp. and China Telecom.
Udenna and Chelsea are owned by Filipino businessman Dennis A. Uy. It was earlier announced that the two companies would control 60 percent of the venture while China Telecom would own 40 percent.
“The signing of the agreements is a vivid manifestation of the fulfillment of our goal to provide Filipinos with faster and reliable internet connection. We are grateful for the support and cooperation shown by the approving bodies. Our unified efforts will pave the way for better telecommunications services for all,” Damuy added.
Under the NTC rules, Mislatel Consortium needs to meet the P10-billion paid up capital requirement. This has yet to be approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Chelsea investor relations officer Rishamae Diaz said on Friday.
Mislatel Consortium also needs to post the P25.7-billion performance bond, which can be in the form of cash, check or irrevocable letter of credit.
The bond will be forfeited if Mislatel Consortium repeatedly breaches its commitments to the government.
Mislatel Consortium, which will invest P257 billion through the five-year commitment period, earlier promised to cover 84 percent of the Philippine population in five years. It promised 30-percent coverage in the first year alone.
It also committed a minimum average internet speed of 27 megabits per second (Mbps) in the first year. For the remainder, the speed will go up to 55 Mbps.
Mislatel faces tough competition as PLDT and Globe ramp up spending to upgrade their networks and begin testing of 5G—the next-generation mobile standard.