Filtered By: Money

Ookla: Philippines ‘duopoly no more,’ DITO disrupts telco market

New major player DITO Telecommunity Corp. has disrupted the country’s mobile telecommunications market, triggering incumbents to beef up investments to improve their services and keep their subscribers, according to global internet speed monitoring firm Ookla.

In its report, Ookla said that the Philippines is a "duopoly no more,” recognizing the impact of DITO in disrupting the mobile telecommunications space which was earlier dominated by Globe Telecom and PLDT’s Smart Communications.

Ookla said that DITO’s entry in March last year spurred investments across major telcos' network infrastructure, which boosted 4G and 5G connections.

Globe, in particular, spent P21 billion in capital expenditures as of the first quarter of 2022, up 10% year-on-year, and is planning to spend P89 billion for the entire year.

Smart’s parent PLDT, meanwhile, revised upwards its capital spending program to P85 billion this year from P76 to P80 billion as it plans to increase investment in 5G rollout in various parts of the country.

DITO, likewise, is investing P50 billion for 2022 for its network rollout to meet its commitments under its five-year roll-out plant.

With increased operators’ investments coupled with regulatory reforms, Ookla said the Philippines' 4G median download speed improved to 15.53 megabits per second (Mbps) as of the first quarter of 2022 from 11.15 Mbps in the same period last year.

Smart led in terms of 4G or LTE download speed in the first quarter at 18.51 Mbps followed by DITO at 15.77 Mbps and Globe at 12.59 Mbps.

Ookla noted that DITO —despite being a new entrant—already had the best 4G availability in the January-March period, scoring 91.2%.

In response to the Ookla report, DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano attributed the group's strong performance to its aggressive investments in network rollout and collaboration with regulators and local governments.

"This is just the beginning. With our commitment to delivering quality telco services nationwide, Filipino consumers can expect more from DITO as we remain committed to continue our investment in network upgrades and expansion," he said.

Tamano also expressed bullishness that the market will witness full-blown competition among telco operators once DITO covers 70% of the population this July as part of its mandate stipulated in the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity by the National Telecommunications Commission in 2019.

"We are confident that DITO can go head-to-head with the other two major players as penetrating more areas means we capture more share in the market. In the process, Filipino consumers will benefit from this increased competition, with companies racing to provide the best connectivity and the best value for services," he said.

Last month, DITO said it exceeded the 9-million subscriber mark and is well-positioned to hit 12 million by the end of the year.

It is now present in more than 600 cities and municipalities. By the end of the year, DITO is targeting to be commercially available in more than 840 areas nationwide.—AOL, GMA News