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Monday, April 22, 2019
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Tell it to SunStar: PH to match Korea’s net speed in 18 months

PLDT, Globe & Mislatel are seen spending a combined P180 billion yearly to build up the country’s telecoms infrastructure.

Within 18 months, Filipinos will likely enjoy an average Internet connection speed of at least 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) on their mobile phones, or up to five times the current speed, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said over the weekend.

“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,” Campos, a deputy minority leader, said.

The two dominant telecommunications players – PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. – would be driven to deliver faster connections to aggressively defend their market shares even before Mislatel actually starts offering its own Internet services, Campos said.

“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 supply superior Internet connections,” Campos said.

“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,” Campos said.

In a research note, online stockbroker COL Financial Group Inc. 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.”

“Deep pockets” would enable Mislatel “to operate at a loss for a long period,” COL said, adding that the consortium’s foreign partner, China Telecom Corp., “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 connection in terms of speed and price,” Campos said.

Mislatel has committed to invest an aggregate of P257 billion between 2019 to 2023, and to deliver a minimum average Internet connection speed of 27 Mbps in its first year of operation and 55 Mbps by the fifth year.--Rep. Luis N. Campos (Makati City)


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