Third telco player DITO hastens rollout, set to 'launch soonest'


Posted at Jul 28 2020 02:36 PM

MANILA - Third telecommunications player DITO Telecommunity said Tuesday it "shared" the connectivity concerns raised by President Rodrigo Duterte during his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA), as it promises to hasten its rollout.

In his address on Monday, Duterte threatened to shut down and "expropriate" telco giants Globe Telecom and Smart, PLDT Inc's wireless arm, if services won't improve by December.

DITO, the consortium of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp and Chelsea Logistics with China Telecom, is fast tracking its commercial rollout set in March 2021. 

Despite its July audit delay, slowed down by the coronavirus pandemic, the third telco remains "on track" for its target commercial launch, it earlier said.

"As far as DITO Telecommunity is concerned, we all share the concern of the President for the need to provide world class connectivity to the Filipino people, especially in the face of the pandemic," DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said.

"Let me assure the Filipino people that we recognize the clamor for the third major telco to already go on-air. DITO is doing all it can to work through the challenges, move forward, and launch soonest," he added.

DITO committed to provide 27 mbps internet speed and 37-percent coverage during its launch next year. 

So far, out of the target 1,300 towers, 300 were "live" and 500 have been erected, the consortium earlier said.

Shortly after the SONA, Globe Telecom said it was investing "billions of dollars" to upgrade and improve its network. 

For 2020, the Ayala-led telco allocated $1.2 billion in capital expenditure, majority of which will go to network and capacity builds, it said. 

PLDT Inc has yet to issue a statement.