Philippines’ third telco DITO targets 10m subscribers in 2022

DITO CME subscribers Philippines

DITO Telecommunity is targeting as many as 10 million subscribers by the end of the year to hit its target of securing a third of the Philippine communication market by 2024.

DITO – a 60-40 JV controlled by Udenna and China Telecom – began operations in March as the country’s third telco, and has been on an aggressive network coverage expansion since then. According to a report by Bloomberg, DITO recorded 5.3 million subscribers at the end of 2021.

DITO CME president Eric Alberto said in an interview that he expects the operator to be able to attract customers to its exclusively 4G and 5G network, and thus avoid a price war with competitors Globe Telecom and PLDT.

“Everyone who needs a mobile phone already has one. We’re just upgrading to a more sophisticated digital capability,” Alberto added.

Alberto estimates that the telco will capture 30% of the market if the network coverage improves to more than 80% of the population this year. Current coverage comes to 52.8% as of the end of 2021.

Furthermore, CFO Joseph Ong said that DITO CME, which is in the midst of a stock rights offer, is “down to the last stretch” of securing long-term credit to finance a $5 billion five-year investment commitment. The firm and China Telecom will guarantee the debt based on their ownership in the unit.

In another statement, Ong announced that DITO is planning to offer broadband services in early 2022. Once the firm’s network construction is complete, they intend to transform DITO into a “full-service telecom.”

DITO completed its second technical audit in September of last year, and says it currently delivers average broadband speeds of 89.1 Mbps for 4G and 854 Mbps for 5G.

Alberto noted that it may take up to three years for the company to become profitable.

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