THE National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) declared DITO Telecommunity Corp. compliant with its requirement to cover 37.03% of the country’s population and provide a minimum average broadband speed of 27 megabits per second (Mbps) in its first year of service.

“DITO passed its commitments on its first year of technical audit,” the NTC said in a statement on Monday, citing the results of the technical audit conducted by R.G. Manabat & Co.

According to a copy of its report to the NTC, R.G. Manabat & Co. said DITO’s national population coverage reached 37.48% while its minimum average broadband speeds delivered reached 85.9 Mbps and 507.5 Mbps for all 4G and 5G sites, respectively.

The network covered more than 37 million people based on the 2015 national census of 100,983,124.

“The reach covered a total of 8,860 barangays,” the NTC said.

“The minimum Mbps per testing point for all sites are: near point – 102.0 Mbps for 4G and 769.1 Mbps for 5G; middle point – 91.2 Mbps for 4G and 437.1 Mbps for 5G; and far point – 64.4 Mbps for 4G and 316.5 Mbps for 5G,” R.G. Manabat & Co.’s report said.

However, DITO’s actual speeds may differ when its network is commercially live, the report added.

According to the NTC, R.G. Manabat & Co. used stratified random sampling to choose 12% of more than 1,600 cell sites for testing.

“For each location (near the base station, middle point and far from the base station), three (3) tests were conducted. The test software used is TEMS investigation software V22.00,” the commission said.

The telco startup is scheduled to launch commercial operations next month.

“A healthier competition within the industry fulfills President Duterte’s promise to the Filipino people of better telco service thru cheaper prices and improved internet speed,” the NTC said. — Arjay L. Balinbin