DITO Telecommunity Corp., a joint venture of businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecoms, said Thursday it will spend more than P27 billion next year to roll out telecom towers nationwide and fund other operating expenses.
“We are aiming to spend P27 billion or more next year to expand our network,” Atty. Adel Tamano, chief administrative officer of DITO, said.
Tamano said the company planned to construct an additional 3,500 fourth-generation cell sites and about 1,500 5G cell sites next year.
DITO said it already spent nearly P150 billion for the initial rollout of its infrastructure and other operating expenses.
DITO chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago said the company fully constructed 500 towers and recently completed an additional 359 towers.
Santiago said that as of Sept. 13, DITO had 859 towers out of the 1,300 estimated number of towers needed to achieve the mandated targets of 37 percent population coverage and speed of 27 megabits per second by January 2021.
Santiago said the company also signed on additional six contractors for its common tower initiatives, on top of LCS Holdings for North Luzon and NCR, ZEAL Power for Southern Luzon, ALT Global for the Visayas and CEEC Tower for Mindanao. Two of the six newly-appointed contractors were Aboitiz for Cebu and Davao and the LEO Group for NCR.
Santiago said the DITO has the needed data centers with eight regional and two permanent core network centers in construction. He said that of the 10,590-kilometer backbone and feeder cable under construction, 5,701 km was finished.
Tamano said DITO was ready for the technical audit by January 2021 and commercial rollout by March 2021.
Santiago said that in terms of security, the company was working with Fortinet, NexusGuard, McAfee, Nessus, Veritas, Pentaho Data, IDAM Systems by BeyondTrust, Microsoft, Cisco ISE, Siemplify, ManageEngine and SolarWinds which are all leaders in cyber security solutions to ensure that DITO and the country are safe and secure.
Tamano said DITO is a Filipino-owned and managed company that committed to invest P250 billion to improve the telco industry and always look after the interests of the Filipino people.
“We are Pinoy and do not deny the fact that we are ChinaTel-backed. We do understand the sensitivities this poses and how this has been played up to be a negative thing in the media. However, let me take this opportunity to inform the public that ChinaTel is in fact a Fortune Global 500 company and the world’s largest broadband internet network with a diversified customer base of 900 million users who decided to invest in our country through a partnership with DITO,” Tamano said.