The search for the New Major Player (NMP) in the Public Telecommunications Market reached its final lap as the NTC Selection Committee declared Mislatel-led consortium as the provisional NMP on 7 November 2018.

The consortium, comprised of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Inc. (Mislatel), Udenna Corporation, Chelsea Logistics Holdings, and China Telecom, was declared the only qualified participant by the NMP Selection Committee out of the three submitted bids en route to winning the provisional NMP title.

Two other bidders in PT&T Corp. and Sear Telecom-led consortium, formed with LCS Group, Fujian Torch, Miller LTE, and SEA Telecom, were disqualified after the preliminary evaluation of the First Submission Package due to lack of documents.

PT&T’s documents were found incomplete after failing to submit a Certification of Technical Capability while Sear Telecom consortium lacked the paper for participation security.

Despite the turn of events, the NMP selection procedure pushed through, as prescribed by the NTC Memorandum Circular 09-09-2018, with Mislatel passing the ensuing evaluation stages.

Mislatel posted 456.80 points in its Highest Committed Level of Service (HCLOS) bid, computed based on its submitted 5-year commitment on National Population Coverage, Minimum Average Broadband Speed, and Capital and Operational Expenditure.

Mislatel will now need to pass the Document Verification Phase within three calendar days before being confirmed as the NMP.

PT&T and Sear Telecom, on the other hand, said they will file their respective Motion for Reconsideration in their attempt to still challenge the winning bid. The two disqualified bidders won’t need to shell out any fee yet should they decide to file of Motion for Reconsideration. The 10-million Appeal Fee will only be required if they choose to petition a denied Motion for Reconsideration.

Though many   scenarios can still happen in the coming days, Department of ICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio Jr. is still positive on putting a possible end to the year-long NMP search.

“This [NMP Selection] has been the work for almost a year and I don’t think anybody can say that something is wrong or hidden,” said Rio. “Personally, I’m satisfied on how the proceedings went.”

“With this, we hope the NMP will stay true to the commitment they submitted to win this selection process while also wishing to see their competitors to level up their game,” Rio added.

The entry of the NMP is a promise fulfilled for the Duterte administration with the President himself seeing it as a step to promote genuine competition in the country’s telecommunications industry.

As part of its Vision 2020, the DICT will continue to monitor the development of the NMP initiative until its operational stage, as well as the telecommunication industry landscape in order to improve the quality and bring down the cost of Internet in the country. The Department is also eyeing for entry of more players in the future upon realizations of necessary policy and regulatory reforms.