FAST FACTS: Mislatel, the new major telco player

MANILA, Philippines – The Mislatel consortium is a step closer to starting its rollout plans after the Senate effectively cleared its franchise problems on Wednesday, February 6.

It aims to break the duopoly of Smart Communications and Globe Telecom, and is highly anticipated to bring costs down and improve internet speeds.

The venture is led by Davao City-based businessman Dennis Uy, who went on a buying spree for companies and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Ownership structure

Mislatel is led by Uy's holdings firm Udenna Corporation and listed company Chelsea Logistics. Uy's companies hold 60% of the consortium.

Uy is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Udenna, while Chryss Alfonsus Damuy is the CEO of Chelsea Logistics

Other companies under Udenna are listed firm Phoenix Petroleum, Udenna Development Corporation, Udenna Infrastructure, and another holdings firm called PH Resorts Group.

The consortium's remaining 40% is owned by Beijing-run China Telecom.

No experience

Uy packs an impressive and diversified portfolio, which includes businesses in infrastructure, utilities, energy, food, hospitality, gambling, and logistics.

However, Uy has zero experience in telecommunications.

Uy previously said he can learn the ropes and is eager for the venture.

"As a businessman, we are capable in due time to be able to learn and compete. Hindi naman ibig sabihin wala tayong experience hindi tayo puwedeng makalaban sa isang sektor (Just because I don't have experience doesn't mean that I cannot compete in a sector)," Uy said.

China Telecom's background

While Uy's companies do not have experience in telecommunications, China Telecom has been around in the business for over two decades.

The company was founded in 1995 and is controlled by the Chinese government.

Its net profit as of 2017 stood at $2.97 billion.

It ranks 3rd in terms of market share in China, with 19% of the total mobile subscribers.

It pales in comparison to China Mobile, which got a whopping 60% market share, and closes in on China Unicom which has 21%.

In terms of mobile internet speed, China is only 50th in the world with an average of 29.36 megabits per second (Mbps).

The Philippines is only at 15 Mbps, according to speedtest.net data.

The consortium promised a minimum speed of 27 Mbps on its first year of commercial rollout and a minimum speed of 55 Mbps on its second year and beyond. This means that the consortium is promising internet speeds that are faster than in China. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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