Third player hastens rollout

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    DITO Telecommunity yesterday said it will hasten its network build-out to deliver the committed internet speed and coverage in time for the government’s technical audit and commercial rollout by first quarter of 2021.

    DITO is a consortium of Udenna Corp. owned by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecommunication Corp.

    “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,” said Adel Tamano, DITO Telecommunity chief administrative officer, when asked to comment on President Duterte’s warning to close the incumbent telcos if they do not improve their services by December.

    Tamano said DITO is working on meeting their commitment to deliver 27 megabits per second (mbps) internet speed and 37-percent network coverage in time for the government technical audit by January.

    The National Telecommunication Commission has extended for six months the deadline for the technical audit from July 8 as the lockdown delayed DITO’s network roll-out.

    Tamano said DITO is on track to meet the commercial roll-out target slated for March 2021.

    “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,” Tamano said.

    The company needs to build 1,300 towers to meet the internet speed and coverage on its first year of operation. Of these, 300 towers are operational and the remaining 1,000 are in various stages of construction.

    The consortium also committed to spend P257 billion in the first five years of operation, of which P150 billion will be spent during the first year of operation.

    Initially, DITO will roll out services in 37 percent of the population and gradually increase its coverage to reach 84 percent on the fifth year. It is supposed to deliver minimum internet speed of 27 mbps on the first year, increasing it to 50 mpbs in the succeeding four years.