DITO plans to offer satellite internet service
MANILA -DITO Telecommunity is targeting to conduct pilot testing for satellite technology within the year as it expands its reach across the country, including remote areas where internet connectivity is usually lacking.
Rodolfo Santiago, DITO chief technology officer, recently told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Taguig City they were in talks with potential partners in rolling out space-based connectivity solutions to reach off-the-grid areas.
One of them was OneWeb Network Access Associates Ltd., a company based in the United Kingdom.
He said they were in “advanced stage” of discussion with the satellite provider but the deal has yet to be secured. Still, Santiago said they were expecting it to be finalized “as soon as possible.”
In launching satellite connectivity services, the DITO official stressed the need for a carrier-grade infrastructure. This means that the technology should enable consistent internet speed for the users all the time.
Among the areas that would benefit from the satellite technology are the provinces in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Mindanao and some mountainous areas in Luzon and Visayas, he said.
Satellite technology usually services remote areas where it is challenging to build telecommunication infrastructure, like cell sites and towers.
DITO is hatching this plan amid the approval of Elon Musk’s Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc.’s registration as an internet service provider.
Luxembourg-based connectivity solutions firm SES and local technology startup Quicksilver Satcom Ventures expressed interest to provide satellite services in the country as well in the past year.
Recently, DITO announced that it would be introducing postpaid plans and enter into the enterprise segment in June as part of its initiatives to acquire more customers. It previously said they were eyeing to double the consumer base of 15 million this year.
Santiago said the selling point of their new products was their cheaper price. He said they could price the product competitively because they were backed by modern and cost-efficient technology.
This year, DITO has set its capital expenditure at P27 billion for network investment.
It is targeting to expand population coverage to 80 percent this year from the current 77 percent to 78 percent.
Parent firm DITO CME Holdings Corp. saw its net loss attributable to parent company’s shareholders grow to P11.24 billion last year from P9.67 billion in 2021 amid the surge in total costs and expenses.