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Congress allows Udenna, China Telecom to take over Mislatel

The group of Davao businessman Dennis Uy has confirmed that the House of Representatives has approved the transfer of controlling interest in Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) to its consortium with China Telecommunications Corporation.

Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp., the listed subsidiary of Uy’s Udenna Group, told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that it was “verbally informed of the approval on May 20, 2019”.

This allows Mislatel Consortium, which was declared the new major player in the Philippine telecommunications market in November 2018, to proceed with complying with the various regulatory requirements prior to operations.

With a controlling interest in Mislatel, the group would be able to use the legislative franchise granted to Mislatel in 1998 to operate a wire/wireless telecommunications system in the country.

The consortium - composed of Udenna Corporation, Chelsea and China Telecom - has vowed to invest P257 billion through its five-year commitment period.

The consortium earlier committed a minimum average internet speed of 27 megabits per second in its first year of operations and bring this up to 55 Mbps in the succeeding four years.

The group also promised to cover 84 percent of the Philippine population in five years.

“Mislatel will now proceed with the necessary submissions for the increase in capitalization as required by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC),” Chelsea said.

“Thereafter, Mislatel will file the required documents with the NTC under the Terms of Reference, which is a prerequisite to the issuance of the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN), and the grant of frequencies,” it added.

Telcos must secure a CPCN from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) before they can construct facilities and offer their services to the public.

The House approval of the concurrent resolution on Mislatel franchise came more than three months after the Senate gave its approval.

The Senate concurred with House Concurrent Resolution 23 in February. Udenna and Chelsea will respectively own 35% and 25% of Mislatel while China Telecom will hold a 40% equity. (Ventures Cebu)

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