MANILA – The joint venture between Davao City-based holding company Udenna Corporation and China Telecommunications Corp. (China Telecom) has been selected on Wednesday as the provisional new major telecommunications player in the country.
Mislatel Consortium won the selection process after undergoing a series of evaluations on their submitted documents which demonstrated their technical and financial capability to deliver telco services in the country in competition with existing players PLDT and Globe Telecom.
In its statement prior to the opening of the bids, Mislatel said its immediate priority is to prepare and consolidate the required resources to “provide the best telecommunications services that Filipinos have been aspiring for” once it is confirmed as a new major player.
Mislatel, led by businessman Dennis Uy, will still undergo a document verification phase within three calendar days by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
The new telco player was selected through its highest committed level of service based on the following criteria: national coverage, Internet speed and capital expenditures.
Mislatel was the remaining bidder after Sear Telecom Consortium of Tier One Communications and LCS Group of Companies were disqualified after they have failed to submit the required PHP700 million performance security to qualify as a third telco player.
Philippine Telephone and Telegraph Corporation (PT&T) was likewise disqualified after it failed to show a certification of technical capability that would show that it has the experience on the delivery and operations of telco services for the last 10 years on a national scale.
The disqualified bidders have three days to file their motions for reconsideration.
Mislatel Consortium, Sear Telecom and PT&T are the groups that have filed their bidding documents when the deadline for the submission of bids lapsed at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Among the companies that earlier expressed its interest to bid for the third major telco player are Now Telecom, Telenor ASA Group, Mobitel Holdings GmbH, Converge ICT, AMA Telecommunications, and an undisclosed bidder.
Meanwhile, Globe Telecom said it welcomes the entry of a new player in the telco industry as this will promote a healthy competitive environment for the benefit of consumers.
The new player has the potential of opening new sources of revenue streams for telcos while providing consumers with more innovative products and services according to the company.
“We are glad for the smooth selection process undertaken by DICT and NTC. As previously and continuously stated, we hope the government will equally support the existing telcos like Globe, which continue to provide services to millions of Filipinos, and in the case of Globe, over 67 million total subscribers,” Globe General Counsel Froilan Castelo said in a statement.
The company said its process of divesting its tower assets and incorporating a separate tower holding company will allow the third telco player to roll out its network and launch operations. This will also give smaller players the opportunity to scale up their business without the burden of high capital expenditures.
PLDT and its subsidiary Smart Communications has deferred to make a statement as of this writing when reached for comment.
The selection of the third telco player was the culmination of an initiative which was started on November last year when President Rodrigo Duterte pushed for the entry of a new telco firm in the country that can compete with the existing duopoly in providing faster and affordable Internet services to the public. (With PNA/PN)