Aiming for leadership, 3rd telco offers cheapest mobile data

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    New telecom player Dito Telecommunity Corp. yesterday officially entered the market with the cheapest mobile data offering, challenging the duopoly in the telecom industry.

    Dito, a consortium of Davao-based business tycoon Dennis Uy of Udenna Corp. and China Telecommunications Corp., offers unlimited data, call and text for P199 for one month initially in Metro Cebu and Davao. This is considered the cheapest mobile data promo to date.

    The company is expected to commercially launch in the National Capital Region in the next few weeks with the affordable data offering – a strategy in line with its target to achieve 30 percent market share which is enough to break even and be profitable, said Rodolfo Santiago, Dito chief technology officer.

    Santiago reiterated that Dito intends to be the leading telco player in the country.

    “We don’t intend to remain as a third telco,” said Santiago.

    A few weeks before the commercial launch, Dito’s services far exceeded the required benchmarks in the first government mandated audit. The audit findings showed Dito had an average speed of 85.9 megabits per second (Mbps) for fourth generation (4G) and 507.5 Mbps for 5G with a population coverage of more than 37 percent.

    Dito’s network runs purely on 4G and 5G technology, which are considered more efficient than the legacy technology 2G and 3G.

    “We don’t have any legacy technology. That makes our operation a lot more efficient and also I think we don’t want to offer legacy to customers. They don’t deserve it. I think our edge, taking a step back, our technology partner is ChinaTel’s 5G stand-alone which is number one… That is the 5G technology we will be bringing in the Philippines,” Adel Tamano, Dito chief administrative officer, said at the virtual press briefing.

    Tamano declined to say how much the company’s regular mobile data rates will be after the promo offerings, but assured there will be more promos to give customers options.

    Dito’s mobile data promo offer is currently the cheapest, as PLDT Inc. mobile unit Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.’s P199 offerings are for 27 gigabytes (GB) and 34 GB for seven days, respectively, based on their websites.

    However, Globe’s GOMO SIM offers P299 unlimited data for 15 days, P499 unlimited data for 30 days and 30 GB with no expiry for P299.

    As of end-2020, PLDT and Globe have almost 150 million mobile subscribers, of which PLDT has 73 million and Globe, 77 million subscribers.

    Meanwhile, Arsenio Balisacan, Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) chairman, said the launch of the new player, DITO Telecommunity, is a major development in the telco sector “that has long been ruled by dominant incumbents.”

    “Let competition run its course to see how the telco race will result in competitive pricing and raise the level of overall connectivity, quality, and coverage in the country,” Balisacan said.

    “This development resonates with the aspirations of every connected Filipino, and opens the door for policymakers to consider other reforms such as the easing of foreign equity restrictions, push for open access and common towers, and prevention of exclusivity arrangements in last-mile internet service,” he added.

    Balisacan said PCC will monitor the market behavior of the players to ensure they compete on fair terms and will continue to advocate for pro-competition measures in the telco sector.