Third telco DITO 'leaning heavily' on Chinese partner, allays cybersecurity fears

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2020 02:20 PM

DITO Telecommunity logo at its office at Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp Headquarters in Taguig. ABS-CBN News

MANILA – DITO Telecommunity is “leaning heavily” on its consortium partner China Telecom for technology needed to challenge Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc, its spokesman said Thursday.

China Telecom has been "doing business here for a long time," DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said, allaying cybersecurity fears. 

“They are our technology partner. And we are leaning heavily on them for that. Sila ang expert dyan (They are the experts),” Tamano said. 

DITO Telecommunity, a consortium of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp and Chelsea Logistics with state-run China Telecom is a Filipino company that "will not be used against the country's national security," said DITO chief chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago, a retired general. 

Unlike Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc, DITO has to submit a cybersecurity plan, Tamano said. 

Senators Francis Pangilinan and Franklin Drilon earlier flagged DITO's plan to build telco towers within military grounds due to cybersecurity concerns. 

The third telco is in “close coordination” with the National Security Adviser and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in terms of cybersecurity, Santiago said, adding that the telco deal with the AFP was still under review.

“We have a commitment to the government that we are cyber-secure…Our network will not be used against our national security and that’s a very firm commitment,” Santiago said. 

The third telco is mandated by law to officially start commercial operations by March 2021. A technical launch will he held in July while pre-commercial testing is set in September this year, DITO said.