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Duterte awards permit to third telco player Mislatel

Mislatel Consortium on Monday secured the permit to operate as the third telecommunications player aimed at challenging the duopoly of PLDT-Smart and Globe.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the awarding of the certificate of public convenience and necessity to Mislatel Consortium, which is composed of China Telecommunications Corp., Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp., and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp.

Present at the event held in Malacañang were Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II and executives from the consortium.

In his speech, Duterte said the entry of Mislatel "assuming that it complies with this commitment" was a "milestone" in government's efforts to provide fast, reliable, secure, and more affordable telecommunication services to the public.

"Let me take this opportunity to pose this challenge to Mislatel [Consortium]: Break the prevailing duopoly in the telecommunications industry and fulfill your commitment to provide better telco services to our people," he said.

He encouraged the people to take part in "productive ICT-based undertakings."

"Expand your businesses, engage in online jobs, avail of online learning and training opportunities, and participate in productive public discussions," he said.

"Let us take the entry of this [new] telco player as a breath of fresh air in our rapidly evolving information age, where no one should be left behind in our pursuit of an inclusive and sustainable progress for all Filipinos."

The new telco player, meanwhile, announced that it would be renamed Dito Telecommunity Corporation.

“This is more than a compliance certification. It is a clear signal that we are fully committed to providing world-class telecommunications in the country. This issuance will fast track our project rollouts as we plan to start commercial operations by 2020,” Uy said in a statement.

The consortium said it would run a pilot user program towards the end of the year “to test the network in order to come out with a better and more robust offering.”

Mislatel has committed to deliver a minimum average broadband speed of 27 megabits per second (mbps) in its first year of operation and 55 mbps that covers 84 percent of the population in its fifth year. — DVM, GMA News