IN CHARTS: Telco promises of Chavit Singson vs Dennis Uy-China Telecom

Ralf Rivas
Chavit Singson's Sear Telecom intends to spend a whopping P540 billion, and promises 100% national coverage and lightning speeds, should its bid be considered

SHOWDOWN. Chavit Singson (right) says his consortium can knock out Dennis Uy's group, the provisional 3rd telco player winner. The National Telecommunications Commission just has to consider their bid. Uy's photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler, Singson's photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Impressed by or skeptical of the provisional 3rd telecommunications player’s promises? Well, Chavit Singson‘s disqualified consortium is fighting to give Filipinos the moon and stars.

Services would be super cheap, if their plans become reality. (Rappler Talk: Chavit Singson’s bid for the 3rd telco slot)

Mislatel, the consortium of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation and China Telecom, garnered a total of 456.8 points in the bidding held on Wednesday, November 7.

But Singson claims Sear Telecom, his joint venture with TierOne Communications, could have gotten a perfect score of 500, had they not been disqualified.

Singson even pointed out that Uy does not have experience in the telco space, unlike him who has Gracia Telecom under his portfolio.

Below are Sear Telecom’s promises, but note that the numbers below were not from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). The numbers may or may not be the same as the ones stated in the documents submitted to the NTC, which remain stored and were not publicly shown.

{source}<h3>Speed</h3>{/source}

Sear Telecom promised 56 megabits per second (Mbps) in its very 1st year of business and intends to keep it that way for 5 years.

Mislatel only promised 27 Mbps on average in its 1st year and committed to more than double that to 55 Mbps in its 2nd to 5th years of operation. (IN CHARTS: Udenna Corp-China Telecom’s promises)

Under the Highest Level Commitment of Service (HCLOS) criteria, the minimum speed was set at only 5 Mbps.

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Smart Communications’ LTE download speed stood at only 10.6 Mbps in 2017, according to OpenSignal. Globe Telecom’s speed hovered around 7 and 8 Mbps.

{source}<h3>National coverage</h3>{/source}

Sear Telecom boasted that it can provide 100% national coverage just in its 1st year, if given a chance.

Mislatel only pledged 37.03% nationwide coverage in its 1st year and up to 84.01% in its 5th year.

Under the HCLOS, the 3rd telco player is only required to have coverage of at least 50% after 5 years.

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If Sear Telecom can really fulfill this, the duopoly should really be shaking right now. Globe’s coverage is only at 67.79%, about 4 points higher than Smart’s 64%.

{source}<h3>Capital/operational expenditure</h3>{/source}

Sear Telecom said it intends to spend a whopping P540 billion in 5 years. Mislatel committed to spend a total of P257 billion.

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Meanwhile, Smart and Globe spend under P50 billion yearly.

Should Sear Telecom’s bid be considered, it would have to deposit 10% of the total capital expenditure (capex).

But if it fails to commit to the indicated speed, coverage, and capex, Sear Telecom may lose a whopping P54 billion just for penalties.

Singson filed two motions for reconsideration for their bid to be considered.  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.