Mislatel: No compromise on national security in China Telecom partnership

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 23) — Mislatel Consortium says national security will not be compromised in its partnership with Chinese government-owned China Telecommunications (China Telecom).

The assurance comes after China Telecom recently signed an agreement with the Department of Information and Communication Technology to lay submarine cables that will interconnect the country with Hong Kong.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Mislatel spokesperson Adel Tamano described their relationship with China Telecom.

"We are a Filipino company. China Telecom is a strong partner, a great partner, but they're a minority. As Filipinos we will never let our national security be undermined," he said.

He said the terms of reference on the third telco selection process highlighted the importance of national security.

"It's very clear that the regulator wanted national security to be paramount," Tamano said, referring to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) which facilitated the selection process.

Should Mislatel, composed of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy's companies led by Udenna Corp. and China Telecom, fail to achieve its commitments as a major telco player in five years, it would forfeit its P25-billion bond to the NTC.

Tamano said Mislatel is open to partnering with other telecommunication service providers, including Converge and rival Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T). Converge had pulled out its bid from the third telco selection process. Meanwhile, PT&T has a pending case against the NTC after it was disqualified from bidding.

"If you really want better telco services for Filipinos and for nation building partner with us. Competition is good," Tamano said.

Mislatel still has a lot of requirements to comply with before it can offer commercial services.

"Once we get our spectrum and our CPCN (certificate of public convenience and necessity) then hopefully by late 2019 or early 2020 we can finally have real commercial operations," Tamano said.