DITO eyes 17 areas for initial rollout

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    DITO Telecommunity Corp. is setting its sights to open in 17 cities and municipalities in the country notably Davao and Cebu.

    The company is set to start its operations on March 8.

    “For us, our best endorsers are the Filipino users,” said Adel Tamano, Dito chief administrative officer, when asked if the company will get celebrity endorsers.

    Tamano said Dito is initially focusing its sights on servicing Visayas and Mindanao, particularly Mindanao, given the origins of Dito as the former Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. that was “set up to serve the underserved areas in Mindanao.”

    “The initial rollout will be in Mindanao and Visayas. As we move on, within the year we’ll offer the services in NCR (National Capital Region) and Luzon,” Tamano said.

    Dito will initially have 10 to 20 points of sale in Visayas and Mindanao.

    Its subscriber identification module card numbers will carry the prefixes 0991, 0992, 0993, 0994, 0898, 0897, 0895 and 0896.

    Rodolfo Santiago, Dito chief technology officer, said the telco is on track for the second phase of its commitment with the government by July, after hurdling the first phase that required the company to have a broadband speed of 27 megabits per second (Mbps) on top of covering 37 percent of the population in the country.

    Last Monday, the National Telecommunications Commission reported that Dito had a national population coverage of 37.48 percent and minimum average broadband speeds of 85.9 Mbps for 4G and 507.5 Mbps for 5G, based on an audit conducted by R.G. Manabat & Co.

    The second phase of the audit requires Dito to have a population coverage of 51 percent and a minimum average internet speed of 55 Mbps.

    According to Santiago, Dito currently has 45 percent coverage in the country and it will continue to expand its 5G network.

    Tamano said the company has set P26 billion in capital spending for this year.

    Santiago meanwhile said the infrastructure for interconnection with other telco players “are being built and being tested.”