The Philippines’ anointed New Major Player (NMP), the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) consortium, has reportedly pushed back the start date for its commercial operations in the country from late 2020 to early 2021, citing issues concerning the timely award of its operating certificate by the government. A member of the Mislatel consortium, Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp, told the local bourse today (15 March) that its new provisional launch date is attendant on its securing its certificate of public convenience (CPCN) in good time. ‘With the delay in the resolution of its franchise, Mislatel’s planned start of commercial operations has been moved further to early 2021 from the initial expected commencement date of late 2020, under the consideration that its CPCN will be awarded by March,’ the company confirmed.
While the NMP, backed by Chelsea, Udenna Corp and China Telecom, is keen to kick start commercial services and challenge the dominant duopoly of PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom, it can only do so once its franchise has been formally ratified by Congress. The Senate approved the change in ownership of Mislatel in February 2019, paving the way for it to operate, but the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is still waiting for the go ahead from Congress, DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio Jr has said.