July 03, 2020 at 08:45 pm
Darwin G. Amojelar
DITO Telecommunity Corp., a joint venture of businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecom, said it is hiring more staff to support network expansion in line with the target to commercially launch its telecom services by March 2021.
“When we started, we have about 100 people. Currently, we are nearing the 300 mark and by end of the year we will probably double that,” DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said in a virtual media briefing.
“We are one of the industries that instead of laying off people, we are actively hiring people because we need to roll out our network,” he said.
Tamano said the company was on track to commercially launch telco services by March 2021 or earlier despite the extension of the technical audit by the National Telecommunications Commission.
“The March 2021 date, that’s the latest we will launch. We are moving heaven and earth to meet that, but we are pushing it earlier,” Tamano said.
NTC earlier issued a resolution extending the July 2020 technical audit under the certificate of public convenience and necessity provisions of DITO because of the COVID-19 crisis.
DITO was given another six months to deliver the commitments for the technical audit requirements, including an Internet speed of 27 megabits per second to cover 37 percent of the population.
DITO chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago said that of the 1,300 cell sites committed, 300 towers were erected and active.
“That’s about 9 percent of the population already covered. The 37 percent percent population coverage, we can achieve that by October,” Santiago said.
Santiago said DITO’s outlook in the long-term remains positive despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The telco industry is the least affected by the disruption in the business. Locally, the demand for digital services actually increase and the incumbents are trying their best to meet the surging demand for their services,” he said.
“The long-term outlook of DITO will improve rather than change to negative,” Santiago said.
DITO aims to capture 30 percent of the local telco market within the first few years of operations.