Mislatel consortium finishes on step towards operation

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NEW telecommunications player Mislatel consortium — made up of Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp., China Telecommunications Corp., and Udenna Corp. — said it completed the signing of the share-purchase agreement with franchise holder Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc. (Mislatel), as it moves forward in securing government requirements to receive its permit to operate and frequencies.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange Friday, Chelsea Logistics said the Mislatel consortium finalized the share-purchase agreement on Thursday.

“The deal was signed by Udenna Chairman Dennis A. Uy, Chelsea President and Chief Executive Officer Chryss Alfonsus V. Damuy, and China Telecom Deputy Managing Director Xiao Wei,” it said.

The deal was among the government’s bidding requirements when it held the auction for a third telecommunications player last year, where it said the winner needs to have a paid capital of at least P10 billion.

“The shares reflect the binding bidding agreement shares of 35% Udenna, 25% Chelsea, and 40% Chinatel. This is in compliance with our required equity infusion of P10 billion under the terms of reference,” Mislatel Spokesperson Adel A. Tamano said in a mobile message.

Mislatel is currently in the process of securing the requirements to be given its certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) which is the permit to operate, and the frequency bands of 700 megahertz (MHz), 2100 MHz, 2000 MHz, 2.5 gigahertz (GHz), 3.3 GHz and 3.5 GHz.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said it is ready to award the permit and frequencies to Mislatel once it gets the go signal from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Mislatel is required by the bid’s terms of reference to get an SEC clearance confirming the consortium follows the 40% limit on foreign equity ownership of telecommunications companies.

“We’re really hoping to get everything fixed by July. The signing of the agreements is a vivid manifestation of the fulfillment of our goal to provide Filipinos with faster and reliable internet connection,” Chelsea’s Mr. Damuy was quoted as saying.

Mislatel is targeting to start its commercial operations by the second quarter of next year. It committed to render an average broadband speed of 27 Megabits per second (Mbps) and cover 37.03% of the national population within its first year of operation. — Denise A. Valdez