HERE to deploy satellite technology

DITO Telecommunity aims to launch satellite technology to reach underserved and underserved areas where infrastructure development is difficult or impractical.

Rodolfo Santiago, DITO chief technology officer, said in an online briefing on Thursday that the company is already in talks with potential satellite service providers to accomplish this goal.

He stressed that satellite technology is “part of the solution” to ensure connectivity is strengthened across the country, especially in island municipalities and mountainous areas.

“We won’t disclose until we sign something with them,” he said.

Expanding coverage

This is after the National Telecommunications Commission announced its approval for the registration of Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc. of Elon Musk as an internet service provider last month. Recently, Luxembourg -based connectivity solutions company SES and local technology startup Quicksilver Satcom Ventures have expressed interest in also providing satellite services in the country.

At the same time, Rodolfo said they are looking at building 7,000 to 7,500 towers to achieve 80 percent population coverage by mid -2023. HERE currently has 550 towers.

The company, a partnership between Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s group and China Telecommunications, is also in talks with local government units to increase its footprint in more areas. It now has a presence in over 600 cities and municipalities.

Adel Tamano, DITO chief administrative officer, said the third telecommunication player reached 10.3 million subscribers in July — a big jump from just 1 million last year.

“We are really slowly getting the marketing share. I think, DITO is starting from a crawl to a walk to a run, ”said Tamano.

The duopoly is challenging

Recently, DITO expressed hope that it could gain more market share after global monitoring firm Ookla was recognized for breaking the long-standing telecom duopoly in the country.

“We are confident that DITO can communicate head-to-head with the other two major players because penetration into more areas means we are gaining more market share,” Tamano said.

Meanwhile, Ookla also acknowledged DITO for having “best 4G availability” in the first quarter at 91.2 percent.

Tamano attributed this to the telco firm’s ongoing network rollout and partnership with regulators and local governments.

This year, DITO is set to spend P50 billion to use its services in more than 840 places nationwide. A higher capital expenditure is expected next year for its continued expansion plans.

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