Telecoms start-up DITO Telecommunity says it will meet the new technical audit deadline by January 2021, putting it on track to launch as the Philippines’ new third operator in competition with PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom by March 2021. In a press briefing, the company stated that as of 13 September this year it had completed 859 cell sites, a figure it expects to rise to 1,300 by the end of October 2020 – meeting its initial population target of 37%. Assuming it achieves that goal, its network would then be assessed and certified after DITO secured a six-month extension for the audit in July (citing delays caused by COVID-19). The newcomer’s chief technical officer Rodolfo Santiago confirmed: ‘Based on that figure, we will be more than ready for our technical audit,’ adding that by end-2020 it hopes to have more than 2,000 cell sites in place and that to support the rollout, DITO has so far built 5,701km of fibre-optic cables.
Further, chief administrative officer Adel Tamano pointed out that the start-up is investing PHP1 billion (USD20.65 million) on cybersecurity measures this year as part of a wider PHP150 billion commitment in year one. DITO is tasked with ensuring its network is available to 84% of the population with a minimum average internet speed of 55Mbps at the end of year five.