Getting around family
- Rose G. De La Cruz () - August 23, 2004 - 12:00am
Despite its family tree, Advanced Telecommunications Inc. has been able to do business with telecommunications companies other than Bayan Telecommunications

"We have a beautiful setup with an affiliate company called Accesslink Corp., which is not directly linked with the Lopez group. This way, we are not unduly exposed to political and public scrutiny that public utilities like BayanTel go through. At the same time, we have a free hand in providing the telecommunications industry with technology and equipment that range from consolidating purchasing and sale of cell phones to fabrication and assembly of station protectors and demarcation boxes," said Adtel president Reynaldo Casas.

Right now, the company is pushing a computer-attached radio recognizer that would answer operator-assistance telephone and direct the same calls to their intended destinations without the use of human operators.

"Though Accesslink, we hope to exclusively supply the voice recognizer technology to Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. via its sister company, Infocom," said Casas.

Other products in the pipeline are the ring tone downloader for cell phones and a SIM card data processor/reader, which works like a personal computer that records all stored data in the SIM and can immediately transfer the data to a new SIM in case of loss or accident.
Solar Panels
Of late, Adtel has gone into the commercial manufacture and distribution of solar panels for another sister company, the First Philippine Energy Corp., that offers and supplies renewable energy.

"At a cost of at least P15,000 per panel to power fluorescent lights and a fan or radio, not many people in the rural areas can afford it. We are currently negotiating with the World Bank on a possible extension of a subsidy for energy users in deficient areas to use our solar panels. Before, WB chipped in P1 for every P3 that the government granted. We are proposing that the cost of energizing through solar panels be computed on the basis of flourescent lights plus TV sets," said Casas.

To further make this alternative form of energy more acceptable, solar panels are lent to users in Panay island, particularly Iloilo, over a period of time. Payment is in the form of energy consumption being billed on the users.
Network
Aside from institutional sales, Adtel also utilizes a distribution network of 25 resellers and 900 dealers nationwide for consumer-oriented products such as the heavy-duty speed battery charger which can fully charge a mobile phone in five minutes and TV antennas.

"Since we went in the production of antennas in September 2003, we have sold a total of 80,000 units at a unit price of P650. That’s P52 million in less than a year of sales," said director Andrew Ramos.

Antennas are very popular in provinces where cable television is not yet popular or is expensive.

"Some buyers have reported that they have been able to catch even the ‘leaks’ in overhead cables at certain times of the day, thereby affording them a free viewing of cable channels or those higher than Channel 27. With the antennas, home viewers get clearer reception of free channels, starting from channel 2, which is operated by our sister company, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.," said Ramos.

ACCESSLINK CORP ADTEL ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS INC ANDREW RAMOS BAYAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS BROADCASTING CORP FIRST PHILIPPINE ENERGY CORP PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CO REYNALDO CASAS SOLAR PANELS
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