DITO Telecommunity launch in Visayas, Mindanao seen as 'big boost' in telco industry

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8) — Three years after the government launched its search for a new telco player, the Philippines now has DITO Telecommunity to challenge industry giants PLDT and Globe Telecom.

Executives from the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the National Telecommunications Commission, and DITO Telecommunity attended the virtual press launch on Monday, marking the third telco player's commercial entry.

DICT Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said the presence of DITO Telecommunity would provide a "big boost" in the local telco industry.

"The people are expecting unhampered services and quality internet to move past this pandemic," he said.

The new player—spearheaded by its chairman and CEO Dennis Uy and state-run China Telecommunications—vowed to provide an average broadband speed of 27 megabits per second, covering 37 percent of the country's population for its first year of operations.

For its initial launch, DITO's mobile services will be commercially available in select areas in the Visayas and Mindanao.

READ: Dito reveals areas for VisMin rollout on March 8

Uy, a business tycoon from Davao, said the group is not only here for business, but "as a partner in nation building".

"DITO is more than just a telco," he said. "We are here to serve in this manner. We want the country to know na DITO na kami, DITO na tayo and magkita-kita tayo very soon."

DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano, meanwhile, said frontliners would be the group's "endorsers".

"Our first customers will be our frontliners," Tamano said. "We are giving 3,000 SIMs to our frontliners. We are starting with Davao."

Asked about the group's timeline to expand services to the capital region, Tamano said Filipinos residing in Metro Manila will "very soon" experience DITO.

"We're coming to NCR soon. Give us a couple of weeks," Tamano told CNN Philippines' News Night.

In the virtual presser, Tamano, however, refused to answer a question if the ₱199 promo, providing unlimited mobile services, will still run after the end of March. Price points of DITO were also not disclosed.

READ: DITO Telecommunity to offer 'unlimited' mobile services for initial launch

"One of the things we have seen [when we announce our plans], our competitors react... I think in a good way, they lower their prices," he said. "Plans yet are confidential."

Tamano also boasted that DITO offers "better" connectivity versus PLDT and Globe.

"For those areas we're available now, we have done our tests. Although we are just starting, we are comparable, if not better, in those 15 cities where we are now commercially available," he said.

"We're so confident that what we're offering is so much better. We're going to be leaps and bounds ahead of our competition. That's why we entered the telco space, because it really needed to be shaken up," Tamano added.