Third telco player Dito Telecommunity is nearing the one-million subscriber mark, as it is set to reach 150 cities and municipalities within June.
Dito executives on Friday, June 11, said the new telco has around 890,000 subscribers so far – a jump from their May announcement of over 500,000 users.
Dito first turned on its commercial services on March 8 in the Visayas and Mindanao. The majority of the subscribers were in the initial areas, but Dito chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said the Metro Manila market is catching up.
Once Dito reaches the one-million mark, the third telco player will have a “surprise gift” for its subscribers, said Tamano without elaborating further
On Saturday, June 12, commercial services will be launched in 23 new areas, bringing the total served areas to 123, in time for the 123rd Philippine Independence Day celebration.
- Dagupan City and Manaoag, Pangasinan
- Magalang, Pampanga
- Pandi, Bulacan
- La Paz, Tarlac
- Calauan and Victoria, Laguna
- Taysan and Balete, Batangas
- Bacolod City and Pulupandan, Negros Occidental
- Moalboal, Bogo, San Remigio, Sogod, Alcantara, Santander, and Ginatilan in Cebu
- Kidapawan City and Makilala, North Cotabato
- Santa Cruz and Bansalan, Davao del Sur
- Malaybalay City, Bukidnon
Dito is also offering Independence Day promos from Saturday to Thursday, June 18, worth P99 and P499, valid for 30 days.
Both promos include unlimited SMS to all networks, Dito-to-Dito calls, and 300 minutes of calls to other mobile networks. The only difference is the data allocation – unlimited data and 2 gigabytes of daily high-speed data are offered for P499, while the P99 promo has 10 GB.
‘Ready’ for second audit
By the end of the month, Dito chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago said the new telco will be available in 146 to 150 cities and municipalities.
Dito has so far built 3,000 cell sites and is targeting to build between 3,100 and 3,200 cell sites to achieve the required 51% population coverage for the audit.
Despite the lockdown, Santiago said Dito did not experience any drawbacks in its cell site rollout. He expects the implementation to be even faster given the vaccination program of the government.
“We’re about ready to complete the minimum 51% population coverage that is required by July 8. We’re just finalizing our preparations for our second-year audit,” said Santiago.
Coverage reliability in Metro Manila, meanwhile, remains to be a challenge for Dito, due to gated subdivisions’ restrictions and permitting processes.
Within the Ortigas Center area, for example, Santiago said the signal could be spotty because they have yet to put up a tower in Camp Aguinaldo. Service in the Makati Business District – with much of the area owned by Ayala Land – could be weak as well.
“We really wanted to fast-track and cover the whole of Metro Manila. But there are some restrictions that we are subjected to that we cannot do anything unless we are permitted,” said Santiago.
He also said that the 5G network is already there – a critical milestone for achieving the internet speed commitment of 51 megabits per second – but it has yet to be offered commercially.
Dito has partnered with telco equipment giant Nokia for the 5G deployment in Mindanao. – Rappler.com