Philippines Senate approves Mislatel franchise transfer

08 Feb 2019

The Philippines' senate has approved a change in ownership for the congressional telecommunications franchise that will be used by the market's third major player Mislatel.

The senate has approved the change in ownership of the franchise to the Mislatel consortium, jointly owned by China Telecom and businesses owned by local tycoon Dennis Uy, ABS-CBN News reported.

This will sidestep the concerns over the validity of the franchise that had threatened to prohibit Mislatel from going forward with its plan to build the Philippines' third mobile network.

The lower house had already approved the transfer of the franchise to the consortium in December.

But now Mislatel is facing a fresh roadblock, with the Philippines' Department of ICT asserting that they need to wait for formal Congressional approval on Mislatel's franchise before it is able to issue certification to the Mislatel consortium.

Senate minority leader Franklin Drilon last week asserted that Mislatel's franchise was invalid due to the original owner of the Franchise, the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company – also known as Mislatel – failing to meet the conditions.

Last week, the Department of ICT insisted that the doubts over the validity of the franchise will not affect the department's common tower project, which aims to stimulate the deployment of shared towers by providing expedited approvals and other benefits to tower providers.

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