Updated: Mislatel, the newly formed consortium of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp., its subsidiary Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., and China Telecom, has been provisionally named as the new major telecommunications player on Wednesday, November 7.
The consortium garnered 456.8 points for its committed level of service during a five-year period, which is expected to commence by 2019. It pledged to provide 37-percent nationwide coverage on its first year of operations with a 27-megabits per second (Mbps) average broadband speed. It also committed to shell out Php150 billion in its first year of business.
These commitments are far more significant than the minimum requirements demanded by the inter-agency selection committee in charge of the process from the prospective third player.
Under the final terms of reference, the new major player is only required to provide at least five Mbps average broadband speed and 10-percent national population coverage in its first year of operations. The new telco player is also expected to allocate at least Php40 billion in capital and operational expenditures in its first year of operations.
This does not mean Mislatel has already definitively won, though. The group’s bid documents will have to undergo another verification phase to ensure their commitments would see the light of the day. Under the terms of reference, this process is expected to last for three days.
If everything checks out, only then will the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issue the confirmation order to the winning bidder.
The two other contenders, Sear Telecommunications, a consortium led by Mindanao-based TierOne Communications Inc. and former Ilocos Governor’s Luis “Chavit” Singson’s group of companies and local telco firm Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Co. (PT&T) were disqualified from the race due to incomplete documents.
According to the selection committee, Sear Telecommunications failed to submit its participation security while PT&T Corp. did not pass any certification of technical capability from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
Under the rules and regulations of the selection process, all bidders must provide a participation security that may be in the form of cash or check worth Php700 million. This is equivalent to 0.5 percent of the minimum capital and operational expenditure required from the prospective third telco player by the end of its five-year commitment period.
Meanwhile, PT&T Corp. failed to submit a certificate of technical capability due to its inability to prove that it has experience in providing telco services for the last 10 years. The company has already filed a case against the NTC on Monday, November 5, compelling it to issue the very document it lacks.
Both companies have already expressed their intention to file for a motion for reconsideration to the selection committee. The participants may do so in the next three calendar days subject to a fee of Php10 million. Failure to do so will completely render them out of the running for the third telco bid.
While it is the only remaining participant in the bidding process, Mislatel will still have to pass the next steps of the selection process for it to be named as the new major telecommunications player.
The second package of bid documents, which contain the company’s five-year roll out plan, will be assessed next.
Elyssa Christine Lopez is Entrepreneur.com.ph's staff writer.