Converge willing to partner with Mislatel consortium

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FIBER INTERNET provider Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. said it is open to partnering with the Mislatel Consortium, which is expected to start operations next year.

Converge Chief Operating Officer Jesus C. Romero said the company, which did not participate in the government’s bidding for the so-called “third telco player” last month, said it is willing to offer its services to Mislatel should it reach out.

“We’re willing to supply them with their needs. It’s revenue. And it helps us maximize what we’ve put on the ground,” Converge Chief Operating Officer Jesus C. Romero said in an interview on the sidelines of its High Plans launching event in Pasig City on Wednesday.

“We actually sell network services to other service providers. So it’s something we really do. If somebody like Mislatel or any other entity who wins says we need support for last mile, backbone, international connectivity, of course we will support. Because it’s already an existing business for us,” he added.

Mislatel Consortium, which is comprised of China Telecommunications Corp., Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., and franchise holder Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc., earlier said it wants to partner with other telco players for its operational rollout.

“We’d like to invite all the stakeholders…to work with us… In fact, even those bidders who either lost the bidding or who decided not to bid, we invite you to work with us… Let us partner. We will use your telecommunications resources for a faster rollout,” Mislatel Spokesperson Adel A. Tamano said after being confirmed winner of the bidding last month.

Converge Chief Executive Officer Dennis Anthony H. Uy had said in August the company is willing to offer its national backbone that is being built to the would-be third telco player.

Mislatel committed to deliver an average minimum broadband speed of 27 Megabits per second (Mbps) in its first year of operations and 55 Mbps in the succeeding years. This should cover 37% of the population in its first year and expand to 84% by the end of five years.

Mr. Romero reiterated Converge is not keen on entering the wireless mobile business for now, as it wants to focus on the expansion of its broadband business.

“We firmly believe that the fixed broadband, fixed wired broadband market is very big. It is unserved and underserved, and that alone requires a lot of work. It requires a lot of work because other than putting the fiber to your home, we also have to build the backbone… Converge would really want to focus on that,” he said.

Converge is targeting to double its current subscriber base of more than 200,000 by next year. — Denise A. Valdez