Smartmatic out: iOne, Ardent Networks bag P1.4-B transmission deal for 2025 polls

Dwight de Leon

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Smartmatic out: iOne, Ardent Networks bag P1.4-B transmission deal for 2025 polls

Websites of iOne Resources, Ardent Networks; Photo by Jacqueline Hernandez/Rappler; Graphics by Alyssa Arizabal/Rappler

The joint venture of iOne Resources and Ardent Networks secures the second most expensive contract for the 2025 midterms, replacing previous transmission tech provider Smartmatic

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday, April 8, that it had issued a notice of award to the joint venture of iOne Resources Incorporated and Ardent Networks to provide the Philippines with secure electronic transmission services (SETS) for the 2025 midterm elections.

The joint venture hurdled a month-long review for the project, which they secured after tendering a bid of P1.4 billion, lower than the Comelec’s budget ceiling of P1.6 billion.

This is the second most expensive contract for the 2025 elections, next to the procurement of vote-counting machines and other election equipment worth P17.9 billion, a project that went to the joint venture led by Korean firm Miru Systems.

Longtime Philippine election tech provider Smartmatic won both contracts in the 2022 elections. Still, the disqualification order against them due to their alleged involvement in a 2016 bribery scheme prevented them from bidding for the projects for the 2025 midterms.

In its LinkedIn account, iOne describes itself as an IT service company established in 2001, with sister companies in Pakistan and Indonesia.

Ardent Networks, meanwhile, is a “value-added ICT distributor of enterprise and network technological solutions,” according to its website.

For the project, iOne and Ardent Networks edged out the joint venture of Ebizolution Incorporated, Secur Links Network and Technologies Incorporated, and Solutions Corporation, the only other group of bidders.

Transmission of election results has always been a pain point among election skeptics – an area that is often used to cast doubts on the credibility of the polls.

In the 2022 polls, some concerned citizens questioned the fast transmission of election results, especially in the first hour after polling precincts closed.

Established watchdogs, however, say they have yet to find damning evidence that would prove the most recent automated polls were rigged. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.