DITO Telecommunity not ‘even close’ to PLDT’s coverage – exec

Telecommunications giant PLDT Inc. is confident in their position in the industry ahead of Telecommunity Corporation’s entry next week.

According to PLDT, DITO, which is set to start accepting clients in some areas in Visayas and Mindanao on March 8, have a long way to go.

At a virtual press conference on Thursday, PLDT officials were asked how their company is preparing for the entry of a third competitor in the telecom industry.

“We cannot comment on what DITO is doing, but what I can really tell you is as far as we have information in the areas DITO is launching, they cannot [get] even close on the coverage we have already,” said PLDT-Smart chief Technology and Information advisor Joachim Horn.

Earlier, DITO said they have already built 1,900 , which will cover 37% of the population. Of that number, DITO achieved its promise by conducting the selection process as a new telco player.

However, that number is far from the estimated 16,000 cell sites of PLDT and Globe.

DITO Telecommunity not ‘even close’ to PLDT’s coverage – exec

“So, therefore they will take a long time to catch up, even in remote areas because it’s not easy to roll out a network in no time,” said Horn.

“I would not be too concerned about DITO because we will be always ahead of our network. We will not stop every day. We are benchmarking ourselves on a daily basis and we want to step forward and we want to lead the industry from a performance perspective. We are not done by no means,” he added.

With continued strengthening, PLDT is said to have increased its capital expenditure in 2021 to P92 billion from the previous P88 billion.

Such funds will be used for the rollout of 5G to 3,000 base transceiver stations (BTS), over 4,000 4G BTS, to 1.7 million fiber to home ports, and 125,000 kilometers of fiber.

“We will continue to push, I think this is the best defense to whoever wants to challenge us,” said Horn.

Despite the confidence, PLDT chief revenue officer Alfredo Panlilio said, “We view competition always a threat.”