DAVAO CITY — DITO Telecommunity Corp. is aiming to bring in 5G technology to Davao City by 2022, simultaneous with the company’s planned rollout of the fifth generation (5G) technology in other parts of the country.

As the newest telecommunications industry player prepares to officially launch services in the central and southern parts of the Philippines by March 8, DITO Chief Administrative Officer Adel A. Tamano said they are already planning on the network upgrade by next year.

“Our purpose is to bring the first world not just 4G, but 5G technology in the Philippines so we will start off initially with 4G technology, but it is 4G convertible to 5G,” he said during the online forum hosted by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. on Friday.

“And hopefully by the latter part of next year, we can bring the 5G in Davao City and the rest of the country,” he added.

DITO will start its commercial operations in 17 cities of the Visayas and Mindanao, and launch later this year in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.

“Part of it is because we are Mindanao-based, but also because we truly believe that we want to send a different message that the DNA of DITO is to serve the underserved,” Mr. Tamano said.

DITO, formerly known as Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc., is a joint venture of Davao City-headquartered Udenna Corp., Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp., and China Telecommunications Corp.

Meanwhile, internet service provider Eastern Communications, which is said to be the country’s oldest telecom firm, has started offering its products to Davao City.

“We have recently opened businesses in Davao City, in the CBD (central business district) in Metro Davao, but we also have plans of covering as well areas outside of the CBD,” Eastern Communications Strategic Segment Marketing Head Tonie Casas said in another forum on Friday hosted by the European Chamber of Commerce.

The company is initially providing services to business clients.

“With the addition of Eastern in Davao, you can now really rely on additional bandwidth for the businesses… 100 gigabytes per second,” Mr. Casas said.

He added that they are currently rolling out cables “that will address the need of Mindanao for connectivity.”

Eastern Communications allocated a P2.8-billion capital expenditure budget in 2020 for the expansion of its coverage in various parts of the country, including Tarlac, Cagayan Valley and La Union in Luzon, Iloilo and Bacolod in the Visayas, and Davao and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao. — Maya M. Padillo and Marifi S. Jara