Mislatel's confirmation as 3rd telco nothing to do with Chinese President's visit —DICT

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19) — The confirmation of Mislatel, a consortium of Davao businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecom, has nothing to do with the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, a government official said Monday.

Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio explained the announcement is "within the timebound of the terms of reference" for the selection of the next telco player.

"If you study the terms of reference these are timebound provisions. We had the bidding on November 7, those who were disqualified had three days to appeal, three days for decision, before it goes to the NTC en banc," Rio told CNN Philippines's News Night.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Monday confirmed Mislatel as the third major telco company to operate in the Philippines. This comes a day before Jinping arrives in the country for a historic two-day state visit.

READ: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in PH Tuesday

Mislatel was declared as the "provisional" winner of the bidding on November 7 after Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) and SEARS Telecom Consortium that includes Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson were disqualified.

PT&T and SEAR appealed the decision, but the NTC junked their motions, paving the way for Mislatel to secure the confirmation.

Mislatel promises to cover 10-50 percent of the country, with 5 megabits per second (Mbps) minimum and 55 Mbps maximum connection speed for the next five years. The company, in its bidding documents, said it will shell out P40 billion to P140 billion in its first year of operation.