DENNIS A. UY’S DITO Telecommunity Corp. clarified on Thursday that its commercial launch will happen in March next year.
Adel A. Tamano, DITO chief administrative officer, told reporters in a media conference in Taguig City on Thursday that its commercial launch will be in March 2021 as indicated in the company’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN).
“March 2021 is really the mandated date by the NTC (National Telecommunications Commission),” he said.
He said that what will happen in July this year is a “technical launch” required by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The NTC, he said, will audit DITO’s compliance with the government’s requirement to cover 37% of the population nationwide with 27 megabits per second (mbps) during the said “technical launch.”
Mr. Tamano also reiterated that DITO has enough resources for the July “technical launch”.”
A pre-commercial trial will begin in September, he said, adding that the commercial launch can also happen before March 2021.
For his part, DITO Chief Technology Officer Rodolfo D. Santiago said the company is “aiming to invest P150 billion this year.”
“There’s a possibility to spend less if we can improve efficiencies, which would also bring down costs for consumers,” he added.
Mr. Tamano said DITO has already drawn from the initial facility “worth $500 million through the Bank of China.”
Mr. Santiago said funding sources will be mainly foreign banks. He added that local banks could not meet the “enormity” of the investment requirements.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte formally awarded DITO’s CPCN in July last year.
If DITO fails to meet its commitments, its CPCN will be taken back by the government.
Mr. Tamano recently said in a statement: “As we have been assuring the public, we are on track to meet our year-one commitment to the government and to the Filipino people to provide world-class telecommunications services.” — Arjay L. Balinbin