Dennis Uy's Dito clears first performance audit
MANILA, Philippines — China-led Dito Telecommunity has aced its first technical audit that gauged whether the telco firm meets its commitments in speed and reach as new telco player.
Based on assessment by R.G. Manabat and Co., the independent auditor tasked to evaluate Dito’s performance, the new telco firm’s reach was seen to reach 37.48% of the 2015 population of 100.98 million. That breached the minimum 37% requirement.
Minimum broadband speed offered was found to be at 85.9 Mbps for 4G network and a much faster 507.5 Mbps for 5G, way above the required 27 Mbps on the first round of evaluation. Regulators released the findings on Monday.
“DITO’s entry in the market is a welcome development in the telco industry,” the National Telecommunications Commission said in a statement.
“A healthier competition within the industry fulfills President (Rodrigo) Duterte’s promise to the Filipino people of better telco service thru cheaper prices and improved internet speed,” it added.
Audit results were released after trading hours. Shares at Dito CME Holdings Corp went up 1% to close at P18.12 apiece on Monday.
Favorable marks to Dennis Uy-led Dito clears its rollout of public services next month where it will start going head-to-head with prevailing telco duopoly, Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc. and PLDT Inc. of Manuel V. Pangilinan. Dito, which is 38.9% owned by state-run China Telecommunications Inc., called the latest development a “wonderful news.”
As it is, the performance audit was delayed by 6 months from its original schedule last July after the new telco asked for more time to build its towers hampered by the pandemic and lockdowns. The next assessment will happen in June when coverage should have expanded to 51% of the population, and speed to at least 55 Mbps— already beat by the current broadband performance.
Breaking down the auditor's findings, Dito was found accessible to 37,845,315 people, equivalent to 8,860 barangays nationwide. In terms of speed, broadband network is faster near base stations at 769.1 Mbps for 5G and 102.4 Mbps for 4G. The farthest connection from a base station registered 64.4 Mbps speed for 4G and 316.5 Mbps for 5G.
A stratified random sample equivalent to 12% of the existing 1,602 Dito cellular sites were used for the field testing.
Dito’s entry was Duterte’s permanent solution to the Philippines’ shoddy telco service that was put under more strain by a sudden shift to remote working and schooling during the health crisis. But delays on Dito’s building plans highlighted a bigger problem of bureaucratic red tape that stops telcos from building more cell sites to improve connection.
To fix this, the government allowed numerous tower firms to open business. Some of these companies had since been tapped by Globe and PLDT to outsource the job of building towers to save time and costs. After the pandemic struck however, there has been no development on this front.
In January, Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11517 that gives him the power to suspend or ultimately drop national and local clearances to expedite public and private projects. The law was welcomed by telco firms.