Philippines provisionally names market's third telco

08 Nov 2018

A consortium led by China Telecom have provisionally been named the Philippines' third telco, after submitting the sole qualifying bid in the third telco selection process.

The consortium, consisting of China Telecom, Philippines holding company Udenna Corporation and the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, was one of only three companies to have submitted bids for the third telco slot, CNN Philippines reported.

The Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company was granted a congressional franchise in 1998, but that appears to have been dormant since then. The company has not listed on the stock market or launched commercial services.

Under Philippine regulations, telecoms operators are required to be at least 40% locally owned, so China Telecom was required to form local partnerships to participate in the process.

Philippine Telegraph and Telephone (PT&T) and the SEAR Telecom Consortium, the two other bidders in the beauty contest style selection process, were disqualified on the grounds that their documents were allegedly incomplete.

Both bidders have vowed to appeal the decision with telecoms regulator NTC.

The seven other companies and consortia to purchase bid documents did not submit them in time for the deadline. One of these, local ISP NOW Telecom, failed in its attempt to secure a court injunction on the selection process, but has now escalated its legal dispute with the NTC.

In its bid documents, Mislatel pledged to invest between 40 billion and 140 billion pesos ($759.6 million to $2.66 billion) in its first year in operation to achieve a coverage area of 10% to 50% of the market, and to deliver speeds of 5Mbps minimum and 55Mbps maximum for the next five years.

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