Two months after making its commercial launch in Visayas and Mindanao, third telco Dito Telecommunity formally landed in Luzon on Monday, May 17, with a vow to battle the country’s telco incumbents.
At a virtual launch attended by top company executives led by its chairman and CEO Dennis Uy, Dito said it is initially making its service available in the 16 cities and 1 municipality of Metro Manila.
“All of Metro Manila is covered. This is the biggest market [in the country] so we want to be here,” declared Rodolfo Santiago, a former two-star military general who serves as Dito’s chief technology officer, during the media briefing that followed after the launch.
Santiago said the company “will continue to expand” beyond the National Capital Region as it seeks to meet its five-year commitment of 84-percent coverage of the Philippines. He said Dito is on target to fulfill its promise of 51% coverage by July this year and 70% by 2022.
As of date, Dito said it is already present in 100 cities and municipalities and available in more than 3,000 stores nationwide, covering 29 million Filipinos.
Santiago said the new telco has already put up 3,000 cell towers all over the country, although he admitted they have encountered challenges in certain areas where local telcos Globe Telecom and Smart Communications have a more established presence.
While Metro Manila is already well-covered with Dito having data speeds of 70 Mbps, Santiago said indoor coverage may not be as strong as some establishments such as malls have yet to install in-building solutions.
To complement the rollout, Dito chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said the company has opened physical stores and online shops via its own website as well as in Shopee and Lazada where customers can buy SIM cards.
“The reception to our commercial launch has been overwhelming,” Tamano said, adding that the company will soon launch its post-paid plans although it will first focus first on the pre-paid market.
Tamano said Dito will endeavor to listen to its customers as he denied that the Internet speed it has committed to the government has deteriorated. He said the company will try to bring in more handsets that are compatible to its next-generation network after getting comments that its SIM cards are not working on old phone models.
Tamano said that for its initial entry in NCR, Dito will offer 25GB of data for 30 days from May 17 to June 30, along with free unlimited texts to all networks, unlimited Dito-to-Dito calls, and free 300 minutes of calls to other mobile networks for only P199.