Tech audit of 3rd telco begins

Published January 8, 2021, 10:19 AM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

Independent auditor R.G. Manabat yesterday (Jan. 7) began its 30-day technical audit of third telco player, DITO Telecommunity’s level of phone service.

The auditor, an affiliate of international audit firm KPMG, will test the third telco’s connectivity and internet speeds in several areas to make sure it complies with regulators’ requirement to cover 37 percent of the population, with a minimum average internet speed of 27 megabits per second.

The technical audit is part of DITO’s license conditions and will be the first official test of its capabilities.

The original date for the audit was July, 2020 deadline but was set back by half year after the telco asked regulators for extension due to pandemic-related work delays.

The R.G. Manabat audit covers a percentage of 1,600 sites in 8,800 barangays nationwide.

The field test will take 30 days with 15 days more added for the final report.

However the audit results will not affect DITO’s March, 2021 commercial roll-out, Atty. Adel Tamano, DITO Telecommunity chief administrative officer, clarified.

“Amid the difficulties posed by the current global pandemic, DITO has made great strides in the roll-out to ensure that the results of the audit will be positive,” he added.

Already, DITO has built 1,900 base stations, more than enough to comply with its minimum 37-percent population coverage requirement.

The telco spent over P150 billion for its initial infrastructure rollout, part of its commitment to invest P250 billion over five years to attain 55 mbps of internet speed, covering 84 percent of the population.

“DITO Telecommunity is poised to finally offer its services to the Filipino people in March, world-class connectivity that they truly deserve, as we launch commercially,” according to Tamano.

DITO’s next technical audit will be due this July.

If the telco fails to deliver its commitments, the government will recall its radio frequencies and forfeit its P25.7 billion bond.