DITO plans to launch satellite-based internet services

DITO Telecommunity seeks to provide satellite technology in underserved and unserved regions where it is difficult or impractical to establish infrastructure.

In an online conference on Thursday, DITO Chief Technology Officer Rodolfo Santiago stated that the organization was already in discussions with possible satellite service providers to achieve this objective.

In order to assure that connection would be improved throughout the nation, especially in island municipalities and hilly areas, he emphasized that satellite technology was “part of the solution.”

“We would not disclose yet until we sign something with them,” he said.

The National Telecommunications Commission had previously said that Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc. had been granted permission to register as an internet service provider. Recently, local technology startup Quicksilver Satcom Ventures and the Luxembourg-based connectivity solutions company SES both indicated interest in offering satellite services in the nation.

In addition, Rodolfo mentioned that they planned to construct 7,000–7,500 towers to reach 80% of the population by the middle of 2023. At the moment, DITO has 550 towers.

The business, a joint venture between Dennis Uy’s business group in Davao and China Telecommunications, is also in discussions with local government bodies to expand its reach. Currently, it is present in more than 600 cities and municipalities.

The third telecommunications provider, according to DITO Chief Administrative Officer Adel Tamano, had 10.3 million subscribers as of July, a significant increase from just 1 million subscribers a year earlier.

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

After receiving recognition from the international monitoring company Ookla for ending the long-standing telecom monopoly in the nation, DITO recently voiced confidence that it would gain greater market share.

“We are confident that DITO can go head-to-head with the other two major players as penetrating more areas means we capture more share in the market,” Tamano said.

Ookla also acknowledged DITO for having the “greatest 4G availability” (91.2%) in the first quarter.

Tamano attributed this to the telco company’s ongoing network development and collaboration with local authorities and regulators.

In order to make its services accessible in more than 840 locations nationwide this year, DITO plans to invest P50 billion. For its ongoing expansion goals, a greater capital investment is anticipated the next year.

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