Mislatel consortium is composed of China Telecom, Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., as well as franchise holder Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc.
Xinhua, file
Mislatel consortium says national security a ‘top priority’
(Philstar.com) - November 20, 2018 - 6:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — Mislatel consortium on Tuesday sought to dispel fears that the entry of its foreign partner, China Telecom, into the Philippines’ wireless communications industry could pose a threat to national security.

Davao-based tycoon Dennis Uy, who has diversified interests, teamed up with state-controlled China Telecom to form the Mislatel Group, which the Philippine government formally declared Monday as the country’s new major service provider.

But some Filipino lawmakers previously warned that giving China Telecom access to Philippine communications infrastructure could be a "Trojan horse" and “a serious threat to national security.”

'We are a Filipino company'

In an interview with GMA News TV, Mislatel consortium spokesperson Adel Tamano said that under the group’s roll-out plan, data protection and national security are Mislatel's “top priority.”

“We are a Filipino company. We will not allow our national security to be undermined by any party. We work very closely with [the Department of National Defense] and [National Security Council] to ensure... national security,” Tamano said.

“It is [a state-owned enterprise] as most companies in China are, but we want to make it very clear that their stake is only 40 percent,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte last year invited China to be the country’s third telecom provider that will challenge PLDT and Globe’s dominance.

But despite Duterte's warm relations with the Asian power, mistrust of Beijing runs deep in the Philippines as the two countries spar over the resource-rich South China Sea.

'Disruptor'

Mislatel consortium is composed of China Telecom, Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., as well as franchise holder Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc.

In a bid to douse security concerns given China’s telco expertise and sophisticated technology, the Chinese Foreign Ministry last January said it has reminded Chinese enterprises abroad to follow international and domestic laws, and abide by “market principles.”

At a press conference in Quezon City also on Tuesday, the country’s new telco carrier vowed to be a “disruptor,” adding that it won’t offer the same “costing” as incumbents PLDT and Globe.

“We have to be disruptive so we have to offer lower prices. We have to be better [and] we have to be faster because we have to be an option,” Tamano was quoted as saying in a GMA News Online report.

"I don't want to overpromise, because we have to look at other factors, but definitely we want to be faster, cheaper. But I cannot give honestly the specific numbers," he added. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral

CHINA TELECOM MISLATEL CONSORTIUM THIRD TELECOMMUNICATIONS PLAYER
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