PLDT Smart and Globe Telecom have found themselves a worthy opponent with DITO, which has recently announced a milestone of 2 million subscribers spread over 200 cities across the country.
On August 6, DITO will further expand its footprint for commercial availability in 17 more areas, most of which are in the country’s southernmost island Mindanao, where it launched only five months ago.
This is a tremendous achievement for the upstart telco and shows how quickly it is gaining ground in response to PLDT Smart and Globe Telecom’s market dominance.
A report estimates that DITO will reach as many as 7 million subscribers by October. This goal seems feasible given the telco’s growth thus far, which has been largely driven by aggressive marketing campaigns in online, social media, and print media channels.
The main challenge now is for DITO to take a sizeable share of the country’s 150 million subscription market, shared only between Globe Telecom (52%) and PLDT Smart (48%).
As the coronavirus continues to dampen the economy, it will be an uphill battle for DITO, albeit a short-term one. The telco’s steady growth in subscribers has been offset as its share price decreased by 36.9% this year.
Equities expert Christopher John Mangun says that while DITO has been working hard in the provinces, its ability to compete with mainstays PLDT Smart and Globe in urban areas will determine its long-term success.
Last month, the three telcos embarked on a joint venture called Telecommunications Connectivity Inc. (TCI). They conducted initial tests on mobile number portability under the Republic Act No. 11202 or Mobile Number Portability Act. With the help of US-based telco company Syniverse, TCI will allow subscribers to switch networks within 48 hours and keep their original mobile number. This functionality will be instrumental to DITO’s growth as subscribers search for the best services available. DITO’s Adel Tamano says that they do not intend to be known merely as the third telco, and the mobile number portability will prove that DITO’s services are on par, if not better, than the services of the incumbents.