Dito ready to go head-to-head with competitors

Dito Telecommunity Corp. wants to be the top telco in the Philippines—no longer just the third telco player and market challenger—positioning itself as the superior mobile network provider.

Adel Tamano, the company’s chief administrative officer, said Dito is no longer just “crawling” its way to the market, but has transitioned from “walking to running,” gunning to become the preferred telco in the Philippines.

“Our CEO [Dennis A. Uy] has always said that from the start—that we are aiming for Number 1,” Tamano said in a press conference. “I think Dito started from a crawl to a walk to a run.”

To date, Dito has a user base of 10.3 million subscribers. It is targeting to end the year with 12 million subscribers.

“Our goal for this year was 12 million, so if we’re at 10.3 million in just July, the most basic is, I think with some level of confidence, we will definitely hit the 12 million [mark] by the end of the year,” Tamano said.

He noted that hitting this number in a little over a year is “quite an achievement.”

“But the realities on the ground is that competitors are not making it easy for us,” Tamano said.

Globe Telecom Inc. and Smart Communications Inc., he said, have been imitating the service buckets and offers of Dito to fend off customer churn. 

“At the end of the day it is the consumer that benefits from it. It just reminds me though, that how come you’re just offering it now? That is why it’s not going to be easy for us to get the market share, they have more money than us, they’ve been here in the market far longer than us.”

He believes, however, that customers will realize the value proposition of Dito.

“I really believe that we have such a superior product and treat the customer more fairly. I think filipinos will slowly realize that.”

Currently, Dito’s 10.3 million subscribers make up 5 percent of the overall telecommunications market. In terms of data usage, however, it represents 9 percent of the industry.

“I don’t think that is not significant. In less than two years we grabbed the data-centric segment,” Dito Chief Technology Officer Rodolfo Santiago said.

Santiago added that Dito is aggressively pushing for the deployment of new tower assets to cover as much as 80 percent of the population by mid-2023.

“The remaining 20 percent of the population would be within the areas that are really very hard to build infrastructure — these are the island municipalities. But we will building there because we need to do the 84 percent on the fifth year,” he said.

In winning its license, Dito had to provide the government service level and investment commitments. Part of its fifth year commitments is having an 84-percent national population coverage.

“We’re now ready to run and go head-to-head with our competitors because last Friday, we started our independent audit and we’re confident that we will be meeting the population coverage of 70 percent. We’re not too worried about the speed, 55 Mbps, we are confident that we can maintain that. With that coverage, we are true to our promise that we are comparable if not better than our competitors for where we are,” Santiago said.