By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter
THE Mislatel consortium is seeking common tower proposals as the third telecommunications player moves forward with its rollout plan while waiting to receive a permit to operate and the frequencies from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
In a newspaper bulletin on Monday, the group composed of China Telecommunications Corp., Udenna Corp., Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. (CLC) and Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc. (Mislatel) said it is asking common tower providers to submit their proposals to the company.
“[W]e would like to invite interested common tower companies to submit proposals on construction of towers which would be helpful in fulfilling our commitments as the (new major player),” the bulletin read.
“While Mislatel’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) is currently being processed by the NTC, Mislatel intends to move forward with its Roll-out Plan pursuant to its commitments…,” it added.
Based on its rollout plan submitted to the Senate in January, Mislatel is supposed to start its rollout by late 2020. But in a disclosure to the stock exchange on Mar. 15, listed CLC said the group’s commercial operations will be moved to early 2021 due to unresolved issues in its franchise that delayed its receipt of CPCN and frequencies.
“With the delay in the resolution of its franchise, Mislatel’s planned start of commercial operations has been moved further to early 2021 from the initial expected commencement date of late 2020, under the consideration that its CPCN will be awarded by March,” it said.
Mislatel Spokesperson Adel A. Tamano said in a mobile message on Monday they have received “lots” of interest from common tower providers already, but they want to “do it in an organized way.”
He added the company is supposed to have 1,200 towers this year and 1,800 towers next year, with a total of about 10,000 towers within five years. For the first year, the rollout will be focused on Metro Manila, Luzon and key cities in Mindanao and Visayas.
Among the requirements for interested common tower providers are experience in the telco tower industry, a paid-up capital of at least P1 billion and a signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for common towers.
So far, 15 towers firms have signed MoUs with the DICT, composed of five local companies and 10 foreign firms.
Mislatel committed to invest a cumulative total of P257 billion for its five years of monitored operations, to be used to deliver an average minimum broadband speed of 27 Megabits per second (Mbps) in its first year and 55 Mbps in the succeeding years.