Friday, June 30, 2006

MISORTEL Strikes Back

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MIKE BAÑOS / June 29) – In a strong bid to stop the further erosion of its subscriber base and give its competitors a taste of their own medicine, the Misamis Oriental Telephone System, Inc. (MISORTEL) is bringing in affordable high-speed data services to its furthest service areas.

Misamis Oriental Governor and MISORTEL President Oscar S. Moreno signed a Memorandum of Agreement with DCTech Micro Services, Inc. that will make 24/7 internet services available to new subscribers.

Engr. Ryan Sumalinog, DC Tech Vice President for Operations, who signed in behalf of the firm, said the new value added service called MISORNET will feature a two-tiered service structure: its Unlimited Dial-Up service will deliver 24/7 internet services at a minimum speed of 52 kbps (vs. 38 kbps. tops for competitors) for only P399 a month while its DSL service guarantees a spped of 384 kbps for only P799 a month, but will enable the user to access the internet and use his voice phone at the same time.

Sumalinog said the 24/7 Unlimited Dial-Up Service is ideal for home/personal use while the DSL service would best serve the needs of msall and medium enterprises.

DC Tech is a full complement service provider based in Davao City which is now providing similar value-added services in partnership with Globe-Telecoms to local exchange carriers (LECs) of the Telecommunications Office in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan; Maramag, Malaybalay and Valencia cities in Bukidnon; Cotabato, Pikit, Kabakan, Matalam, Panabo, Tagum and Mati.

Marriz Manuel B. Agbon, DCTech Sales and Marketing Partner in Northern Mindanao, said the move would provide local businessmen the impetus to invest in ICT.

"With additional investments in ICT, enhanced executive reporting follows, leading to significant cost reductions, revenue growth and increased profitability as a result of improved work efficiency brought by reduced data losses and integrated systems of operations," Agbon said.

Moreno is optimistic the venture would further push MISORTEL's mission to provide modern, adequate, efficient, reliable and affordable telecommunications specially to areas currently unserved and underserved by the company, which is majority owned by the Misamis Oriental provincial government.

"The provision of Voice and Internet applications in remote areas has become a necessity," Moreno said. "In order for us to keep up with other developing nations, our citizens must be aware and knowledgeable to successfully compete in the global market. This is where MISORTEL's partnership with DCTech plays a vital role.

Industry sources estimate internet users in the Philippines would grow to 20 million by next year and to 41 million by 2014.

"The business sector, being an engine of growth, is also a priority of this venture," Moreno said. "For our economy to be globally competitive, Filipino businessmen, especially those engaged in agri-business, must also be at par technology wise with their global competitors."

Sumalinog said the new venture would also bring in new subscribers to MISORTEL which has seen its former dominance in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental diminish with the inroads made on new and existing subscribers by cellphone service providers.

"Since we shall do the installation, maintenance and collection from MISORTEL, they will gain a steady revenue stream at little or no expense to their present network," he said.

Already, Sumalinog said DCTech provides its value added services to some 60 percent of the internet cafes in Cagayan de Oro City, offering 1mpbs package for only P8,000 and their 768 kbps for only P4,000. He said they have also successfully increased the total subscriber base of all the Telof LECs they are now serving by 15 percent after only four months of operations.

"We hope we will be able to do the same, or even better, for MISORTEL," he added.

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