MANILA – The country’s third telecommunications (telco) company will only start offering its services to the public once the company is satisfied with its nationwide coverage, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said on Thursday.
DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said DITO Telecommunity, which is set to have its technical rollout by July 9 of this year, will not have its services open to the public just yet.
“The strategy of DITO is they want the whole country to–talagang okay na setup nila (their setup is really okay) for the whole country before they commercialize,” Rio said in an interview at the DICT headquarters in Quezon City.
He said DITO has decided to wait for a nationwide roll-out, instead of a per region roll-out of its mobile services, since a limited rollout would necessitate its customers to still use the services of its competitors in areas not covered by DITO.
“Once they cover Metro Manila, they start commercializing, people will start buying DITO sim cards. But what would happen if those people leave Metro Manila? They’ll have to go back to Globe and Smart. DITO says that’s not going to be good for us,” Rio said.
Earlier, DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said the company will deliver by July a network that would cover 37 percent of the country’s population capable of providing minimum national average speeds of 27 Megabits per second.
He said the rollout would not be open to the public as it would merely test the capability of the company’s infrastructure.
He added that a third-party auditor will ensure DITO’s compliance with the required specifications as mandated by the National Telecommunications Commission.
No delays expected
Meanwhile, Rio said the current global epidemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is not expected to affect the rollout of DITO’s network.
He said DITO will not cite “force majeure” to justify a delay as the company will mitigate any possible effects of the virus by sourcing materials from countries unaffected by the epidemic.
“According to DITO, they are not going to use that because they have all other sources of telco equipment and supplies. Hindi lang naman China (It’s not only China),” Rio said.
In February, DITO chief technology officer Rodolfo “Boy” Santiago said the company’s vendors were confident that it would be able to supply the company’s need materials and equipment.
Tamano added that while the company’s position during the outbreak is strong, DITO will continue to monitor the global epidemic and address any issues that could lead to a delay. (PNA)