DITO Telecommunity Corp. said it is finalizing deals involving the lease of key infrastructure such as cell towers and data centers, as it prepares to launch by the second quarter of 2020.
After receiving its certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) last month, the new telecommunications player said it can now proceed with discussions and finalize partnerships with companies.
“Now, we’re in the final stages of negotiating for the commercial and the legal provisions of our contract, particularly with those that have the resources that we can utilize,” Dito Telecommunity Interim Chief Technology Officer Rodolfo D. Santiago told reporters last week.
“We will be initially doing leasing of resources for transmission, for access and even data center capacity,” he added.
Dito — which is owned by Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and China’s China Telecommunications Corp. — has a tight timeline to roll out its services to 37.03% of the country’s national population by July 9, 2020.
Within the one-year period, the company must also be able to deliver a minimum broadband speed of 27 Megabits per second (Mbps). If it fails to meet these commitments, Dito’s CPCN and radio frequencies will be taken back by the government.
Mr. Santiago said it is crucial for the company to tap existing infrastructure in order to reduce the burden of building a network from scratch.
“We are working very closely with the tower companies that have very solid experience in building. We will be utilizing them as much as possible, so that we can take maximum advantage of local capacity to build towers,” he said.
In March, Dito (then Mislatel) sought common tower proposals to kickstart discussions with tower providers on its infrastructure needs.
Given the population coverage required of the company by July, Mr. Santiago said it must build around 3,000 towers within the year. “We’re confident that if we build about 3,000 towers, we can achieve the 37%,” he said.
Dito has not closed a deal with any of the tower providers yet, but Mr. Santiago said the company has shortlisted about seven or eight from the 19 tower firms that approached it since March.
Until it finalizes deals, Mr. Santiago said Dito is focused on the other aspects of its rollout, with constant support from its Chinese partner in designing the company’s network.
“We’re banking on them in terms of their experience and their technical expertise. (They’re sending) consultants in terms of doing the network design. That’s essentially from them, the network design (of Dito),” he said. — Denise A. Valdez