Philippines’ new telco DITO faces questions on performance discrepancies

DITO performance
Image by dennizn | Bigstockphoto

A think tank focused on infrastructure issues in the Philippines has filed an information request with the country’s National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), seeking access to DITO Telecommunity’s second technical audit due to discrepancies in its results and actual customer experiences.

Infrawatch PH representative Terry Ridon, who is also a former congressman under the Committee of Information and Communications Technology, said that the Philippine public express serious doubts on DITO meeting its performance commitment of at least 55 million people or 51.01% of the country’s total population.

Ridon questions whether all DITO towers have been adequately tested during the technical audit, and whether all 3,000 cell sites have been inspected. According to him, this would determine if the tower coverage does serve the population indicated.

“It appears technically impossible to service this number of people given the limits of DITO’s current infrastructure,” Ridon argued.

Furthermore, Ridon points to a third-party report by OpenSignal that shows declines in DITO’s performance. Sam Fenwick of OpenSignal says that DITO’s download and upload speeds in Cebu and Davao fell immediately after posting an initial advantage during their launch. Fenwick said that the speeds became almost similar to overall averages calculated across the country’s three operators.

“Another third-party report made by Ookla, showed wide variances in DITO’s claimed downloads speeds and 5G, with actual tests showing slower speeds by more than seventy percent. These are levels of variances that are unacceptable by any standard,” Ridon added.

In early September, DITO announced that it has passed the technical audit for its second-year commitments to NTC, with expectations of five to six million subscribers by the end of 2021.

In response to Ridon and Infrawatch PH, unnamed DITO sources claim that they have addressed these issues in the March Senate hearing on their franchise. “The quality of our network is quite impressive,” noted DITO Chief Administrative Officer Adel A. Tamano.

Related article: Pandemic, typhoons, volcano – no stopping DITO’s record greenfield rollout

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