Mobile internet seen 5x faster with Mislatel entry — lawmaker

Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) – December 9, 2018 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos can expect internet five-times faster speed on their mobile phones within the next 18 months, Makati Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said.

“Competition can create wonders. We should soon be where South Korea is now in terms of average mobile internet connection speed with the Mislatel consortium in play,” he said.

The consortium led by China Telecom and presidential friend Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy has been chosen as the third telecommunications industry player in a bidding process hailed as the most fair and transparent under the Duterte administration.

Campos said the two dominant players – PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom – would be forced to improve their service to defend their market share even before Mislatel starts offering its own service.

“We reckon that PLDT and Globe may each have to spend up to P65 billion every year starting 2019 to stay ahead and quickly build up their capacities to improve their internet and mobile connections,” he said.

He noted that in many areas in Quezon City, mobile connectivity is still weak, intermittent and unreliable.

“To include Mislatel’s pledge to invest at least P50 billion yearly to put up its own network, we are thus easily looking at up to P180 billion in combined annual capital spending from the three players to advance the nation’s telecommunications infrastructure,” he said.

Campos cited a research note released by online stockbroker COL Financial Group Inc., which said the Mislatel consortium “has the financial muscle to execute its plan and will most likely engage in a price war (with PLDT and Globe) to grab market share.”

According to COL, China Telecom’s “deep pockets” would enable the consortium “to operate at a loss for a long period.” It said the Chinese telecom firm “generated the equivalent of P146 billion in profits in 2017.”

“Once Mislatel starts offering its services in Metro Manila, consumers could end up shifting subscriptions every now and then, depending on which of the three players provides the best Internet and mobile phone connection in terms of speed and price,” Campos said.

He said Internet and mobile connectivity in the country is one of the slowest in the world, while the cost is among the highest.

Acting Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. has said the Mislatel group has committee to provide service comparable to that of Singapore in five years.



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