Startup DITO rejects ‘3rd telco’ title, seeks market dominance

startup dito rejects 3rd telco title seeks market dominance - Startup DITO rejects ‘3rd telco’ title, seeks market dominance
DITO site - Startup DITO rejects ‘3rd telco’ title, seeks market dominance
DITO TELECOMMUNICATION site in San Francisco Del Monte in Quezon City, Feb 26. — PHILSTAR/MICHAEL VARCAS

TELCO STARTUP DITO Telecommunity Corp. is hoping to dominate the market, saying it will also roll out a “superior” fifth generation (5G) network to beat its competitors.

“We don’t want to remain as the third telco. That’s why we said we’re the newest telco because we want to be number one. You can’t be number one with a 5% subscriber base,” DITO Chief Technology Officer Rodolfo D. Santiago said at a virtual briefing on Thursday.

The Dennis A. Uy-led telco startup said it did four technical 5G calls this month.

The company noted it uses “stand-alone” 5G, which makes it better than the existing commercial 5G networks in the country.

Reigning telco giants Globe Telecom, Inc. and PLDT, Inc. have both introduced 5G technology in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

“Our 5G is superior to our competitors. We offer stand-alone 5G. It does not rely on the older 4G technology,” said Adel A. Tamano, DITO’s chief administrative officer.

Mr. Santiago said the telco startup now has 1,532 towers, more than enough to pass the technical audit in January next year.

During the technical audit, the government will evaluate DITO’s compliance with the requirement to cover 37% of the population nationwide with 27 megabits per second.

“We can satisfy the 37% coverage required under our deal,” Mr. Santiago said.

He said further that the company had spent more than P150 billion for its preparations this year, and it intends to spend P257 billion in the next three years.

Mr. Tamano said the company is hoping to launch its services “a little earlier” than March 2021.

“March 2021 is a tough date. There’s a lot of work needed… We hope to launch a little earlier, but we will see,” he said.

DITO also invested P1 billion in cybersecurity solutions this year supplied by 12 technology firms based in the United States.

The telco startup is 60% owned by Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and 40% owned by China Telecommunications Corp. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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