DITO Telecommunity Corp. is investing P4 billion in a submarine cable to expand capacity as it prepares to roll out fixed broadband services using 5G wireless technology by the fourth quarter this year.
“We’re going to service the home using our fixed wireless. In fact, we are about to conduct our friendly users test for our fixed wireless access using our 5G network,” said DITO chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago Thursday in a virtual briefing.
“I would say it’s better if not comparable in speed to the fixed wired using fiber optic cable because of the nature of the networks that are existing,” he said.
Adel Tamano, chief administrative officer of DITO, said the launching of the fixed wireless broadband service may take place in the fourth quarter.
“We are in the friendly users test. It is ongoing now in NCR and Davao. It will launch this year,” he said.
DITO has 3,096 4G cell towers and 604 5G towers.
DITO said the P4-billion investment would be used to expand its capacity. Santiago said the first phase of its submarine cable linking Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao became operational in March this year.
Phase 2 of the submarine cable linking Palawan to the rest of the Philippine islands and providing redundancy to Visayas and Mindanao loop will start construction by October or November. It is expected to be competed by the first quarter of 2022.
DITO has 953 kilometers of submarine cable and 18,074 km. of land-based fiber optic cable. It also has 4,384 towers under mobilization, of which 3,094 towers are integrated.
Tamano said that DITO is expanding commercially to 53 areas this month, bringing its total coverage to 268 areas nationwide.
“We have about 2.6 million subscribers and we get around 20,000 new subscribers every day. We are hoping by end of September, we will reach our 3-million mark,” he said.
“We find these numbers actually quite very positive and it shows the appetite of the market for a new player,” Tamano said.
DITO recently passed its second technical audit with a national population coverage of 52.75 percent and a minimum average broadband speeds of 89.13 Mbps and 853.96 Mbps for all 4G and 5G sites, respectively.