DITO reports on progress as it readies for March 2021 launch

Sep 17, 2020

Construction and infrastructure activities of DITO Telecommunity in full swing six months to its commercial launch.

TAGUIG – On the wake of the Congressional nod to grant a 25-year franchise and with six months to the commercial launch of the country’s third major telecommunications provider, DITO Telecommunity delivered a progress report and provided answers to a number of pressing issues in an online media discussion held recently. 

On the issue of readiness and capability, DITO Chief Technology Officer Retired Major General Rodolfo Santiago said that as promised early July, the telco has fully adjusted to the challenges of COVID-19 and has ramped up construction and infrastructure activities in the past two-and-a-half months.

“When we last reported to the public and to the Senate, we were at 500 fully constructed towers. In the past few months DITO has completed an additional 359 towers. As of September 13, 2020, DITO now has a total of 859 out of the 1,300 estimated number of towers needed to achieve mandated targets of 37% population coverage and speed of 27mbps by January of 2021,” Santiago disclosed. 

For its common tower initiatives, the DITO Chief Technology Officer mentioned that they have signed on an additional six contractors 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 include Aboitiz for Cebu and Davao, and the LEO Group for NCR.

General Santiago also disclosed that the third telco has the needed data centers up and operational with the eight regional and two permanent core network centers in construction. In addition, out of the 10,590 km backbone & feeder cable under construction, 9,178 km cable laying done, with 5,701 km finished.

DITO sent a clear message that it truly is ready to launch by March 2021. 

In terms of security, the big announcement came by way of how the biggest names in American cybersecurity solutions have been tapped by the third telco. 

“From the beginning, we in DITO have taken note of all the concerns related to cyber security. We never made it public but we sought the best that the US had to offer in terms of cyber security. And today, we are pleased to let everyone know that we have  been working with Fortinet, NexusGuard, McAfee, Nessus, Veritas, Pentaho Data, IDAM Systems by BeyondTrust, Microsoft, Cisco ISE, Siemplify, ManageEngine, and SolarWinds, all leaders in cyber security solutions to ensure that DITO and the country are safe and secure,” said Santiago.


Furthermore, aside from these solutions, DITO also reiterated that they have put in place the cyber security plan which only DITO was required to submit during the selection process, duly accepted and approved by the relevant government agencies from the National Telecommunications Commission, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, all the way up to the National Security Adviser; among other security measures.

According to Atty. Adel Tamano, Chief Administrative Officer of DITO, “As a Filipino company, DITO is subject to Philippine laws such as the Commonwealth Act 616 (1941) – An Act to Punish Espionage and Other Offenses Against the National Security, Republic Act 4200 (1965) – An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication and for Other Purposes, and Republic Act 10173 (2012) – Data Privacy Act, among others, and these we take very seriously.”

Furthermore, with regard to the recent signing of Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the  Department of National Defense on the reported placement of DITO installations in military camps, Atty, Adel Tamano, Chief Administrative Officer of DITO stressed that the current MoA has very stringent safeguard in place which has met approval from the Department of National Defense and the National Security Advisor.

“In our recent statements, we have stressed on the fact that the MoA with the AFP contained the very same provisions signed by the other two telcos with the notable exception that additional provisions were provided pertaining to commitments of DITO to national security in addition to the safeguards already put in place by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that includes especially the entry of foreign nationals, regular inspections and security audits,” added Tamano. 

The Chief Administrative Officer of DITO said that DITO Telecommunity is first and foremost a Filipino owned and managed company that has committed to invest 250 Billion pesos to improve the telco industry, and will 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,” said Atty. Tamano.

Widely available information on ChinaTel describes it as the largest LTE-FDD 4G operator, optical broadband operator, IPTV operator and fixed-line telephone operator globally. It has maintained deep involvement in the evolution of global 5G standards as it was asked by GSMA to lead the global 5G SA (stand-alone network deployment) industry to formulate and publish the 5G SA Deployment Guidelines. ChinaTel is in fact,  the first telecom operator to have SA commercialization capability with a current 5G package subscriber base of 37.84 million.

The nation’s third major telco is gearing up for the friendly user test that will happen in the 4th Quarter of the year and efforts are fully underway to launch in March of 2021.

“As we have mentioned in the past, we are doing all we can, despite the challenges to ensure that DITO delivers its promise of providing Filipinos with world-class connectivity we truly deserve, and it is just a matter of months now,” ended Atty. Tamano.



DITO Telecommunity Corporation, formerly known as Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc. (MISLATEL) is the third major telecommunications provider in the Philippines after it was awarded a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity by the National Telecommunications Commission in 2019.

DITO commits to provide world-class, fast, affordable, and secure, telecommunications services that connect the Filipino people situated in more than 7,641 islands to the rest of the global community.

DITO is a Filipino company and is a consortium that includes Udenna Corporation, Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure, and China Telecommunications Corporation. 

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