MANILA - The third major telco player may be ready to accept subscribers as early as the fourth quarter of this year, the Philippines' IT minister said on Monday.
Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio said Mislatel, which was chosen as the country's third major telco, already started setting up its network and building cell sites two months ago.
Rio added that Mislatel will submit its P25.7 billion "performance bond" on July 8, after which it will be given radio frequencies as well as a permit to operate, called a certificate of public convenience.
Mislatel has committed to cover 37 percent of the country within its first year of operations, Rio said.
If it fails to deliver this commitment, the government may penalize it by forfeiting the performance bond.
Rio clarified that it was Mislatel itself that said that it would submit the bond by July 8.
He also dispelled speculations that Mislatel, which is a consortium composed of Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp and China Telecom, is facing financial problems that may derail the roll out of the third telco.
"Mukhang mali naman 'yun kasi nagpirmahan na sila with China Tel [China Telecom]," Rio said in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo.
(That doesn't seem right because they have already signed [a contract] with China Telecom.)
While Mislatel rolls out its network, incumbent telcos Globe and PLDT have also committed to match Mislatel's promised broadband speed of 27 Mbps, Rio said.
Rio said he expects Mislatel to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2020.