The Philippines’ regulator confirmed consortium Mislatel would be the country’s new mobile operator, after dismissing motions to reconsider two candidates which failed the original evaluation process.

In a statement, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced regulator National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) had officially ratified the Mislatel consortium’s selection. DICT acting secretary Eliseo Rio said the decision meant the search for the Philippines third major player (and fourth overall) had now reached the “end of the tunnel”.

Mislatel is a consortium comprised of China Telecom, Chelsea Holdings and Udenna Corporation. It will take on the country’s two leading players Globe Telecom and PLDT’s mobile brand Smart, which combined hold a 99.8 per cent market share.

The new operator agreed to meet minimum speed requirements for its service within a year; a target which will increase over the following three. It must also achieve 84 per cent coverage in the country within five years.

Failure to meet its obligations could result in a fine of PHP25 billion ($476 million). Rio warned “the ball is now on Mislatel’s court to deliver on their promise.”

He added he expects Mislatel to “tap existing small players” to help it meet its target. In addition to Globe Telecom and Smart, the country has one other mobile network operator, Broadband Everywhere, along with a number of other providers with complementary infrastructure already in place.