Dito ready for launch, passes first test


Dito Telecommunity—the telco startup looking to challenge industry giants PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom—is set for its commercial launch in March this year after successfully passing its first network audit.

This was confirmed on Monday by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), which said Dito met its initial population coverage and minimum average internet speed commitments to the Philippine government.

According to the results of the audit conducted by R.G. Manabat & Co., Dito had a national population coverage of 37.48 percent and minimum average broadband speeds of 85.9 megabits per second for 4G and 507.5 Mbps for 5G.

The figures were higher than Dito’s first year commitment to cover 37 percent of the population and offer a minimum average broadband speed of 27 Mbps.

The test was conducted over 30 days starting Jan. 7, 2021. It was supposed to be held in July last year but Dito asked the NTC for an extension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the full report has yet to be released, R.G. Manabat indicated in one section of the findings that “actual speeds may differ when the network is commercially live” since Dito currently has no subscribers.

The results, nevertheless, provide a boost to Dito’s ambitious goal to break PLDT and Globe’s grip on the telco industry.

‘New major telco player’

A venture between Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy and China Telecom, Dito was assigned valuable radio frequencies and an operating license after it won a 2018 auction to become the country’s “new major telco player.”

It plans to spend over P257 billion through its five-year commitment period, during which it was also barred from selling out to its major telco rivals.

An annual technical or network audit was required to ensure the company’s compliance to its commitments. Should Dito repeatedly breach its commitments, the government will recall its radio frequencies and seize its P25.7 billion bond.

In its statement, the NTC explained 12 percent of 1,602 of Dito’s cell sites were included in the field testing. Three tests were conducted per location using TEMS Investigation software, an end-to-end network testing solution.

The NTC said Dito’s reach covered 8,860 barangays.

Dito is set to have its second technical audit in July this year. The company committed to cover 84 percent of the Philippine population and offer a minimum average internet speed of 55 Mbps by the end of its fifth year or by 2024.

Dito holds a Congressional franchise via Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. INQ

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