DICT says no delay on Mislatel rollout

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Mislatel consortium, the country’s incoming third telecommunications player, has commenced preparatory works on its network despite pending decision on its franchise, according to Information and Communications Technology acting Secretary Eliseo Rio.

“Mislatel is already doing things. They have started with their rollout. They are already building towers and doing their layout. They are taking the risk, but they cannot not operate until they get the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity and frequencies,” Rio said.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the DICT are still unable to award Mislatel its CPCN and the frequencies as there remains no finality on the Congress resolution involving its franchise.

The DICT last month ordered the NTC to get a formal declaration from Congress that it does not object to the Senate resolution prior to the issuance of the CPCN to Mislatel consortium.

“Until now they (NTC) have not gotten any reply because Congress is in recess,” Rio said.

“If NTC gets a letter or formal approval then it’s a go. If not, then it’s when session resumes, which is after elections,” he said.

The deadline for the Mislatel consortium to submit to the NTC the necessary post-qualification requirements for the issuance of CPCN, which will give it the authority to operate as a telco, had lapsed on Feb. 17.

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.

Under Mislatel’s previously submitted rollout plan, the country’s new major player intends to start work on its network immediately upon securing the CPCN from the government. Mislatel plans to commence network engineering one month upon obtaining the CPCN.

In 12 months from the CPCN issuance, Mislatel said its network would be ready and testing could start.

Two months after, the third telco player will then begin pre-commercial trial.

Six months from the commencement of the pre-commercial trial, the third telco player is confident it can officially launch the commercial use of its network.

“So there is no delay,” Rio assured, referring to Mislatel’s rollout plans.

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