Mislatel inks deal with gov't as 3rd major telco

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 20) — Mislatel Consortium is now officially the country's third major telecommunications player after it signed an agreement with the Philippines government on Tuesday.

The consortium, led by China Telecom and business tycoon Dennis Uy's Udenna Corporation, has entered into an agreement that allows China Telecom's submarine cables to connect from Hong Kong to the Philippine soil.

Mislatel said doing so is its "first step in lowering the price of internet."

"By using our submarine cables, ang internet access natin ay mabibili po natin from Hong Kong or U.S. Now yung prices po sa Hong Kong and U.S., mga $2 po yan. Compared to the current sometimes $7 or up to $15 cost of internet natin currently coming from the two major telco," Mislatel spokesperson Adel Tamano told the media.

The group is allaying concerns the Chinese government will use China Telecom to spy the Philippines, as the two countries are engaged in a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.

"It will be very clear that as we do our rollout, it will be top priority for us to ensure national security," Tamano said.

The signing of the agreement happened on the same day Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in the Philippines for a two-day state visit.

Department of Information and Communications Technology Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, however, maintained the latest development has nothing to do with the Chinese leader's arrival.

"It has nothing to do with the third telco. This is because we need a gateway very badly for our national broadband plan," Rio said.

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

Faster internet

Mislatel aims to start operating by late 2019, covering 10 to 50 million subscribers in its first year.

The group vows to provide 27 megabits per second (mbps) of internet speed in its first year of operation. If realized, it will be nearly thrice faster than the 10 mbps currently offered by incumbents Globe Telecom and PLDT-Smart.

Mislatel will further add speed to its internet service to up to 55 mbps in the next five years as it plans to invest a whopping P256 billion during the period.

The group said they will utilize the high-end technology of China telecom to enhance services.

Mislatel also said it's still open to partner with Globe, Smart or smaller telco companies.