Goodbye slow internet?
The entry of China-backed DITO Telecommunity could contribute to a “healthier” telecommunications industry and help deliver faster and affordable services in the Philippines.
China’s Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian made the statement after the Senate approved on third and final reading a bill renewing the franchise of DITO telecom firm for another 25 years.
The country’s third major telco player, formerly known as Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company Inc. (MISLATEL), is led by a consortium of businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics with state-owned China Telecom.
“The Philippines deserves cheaper and faster telecommunication services,” Ambassador Huang said in a Facebook post in welcoming the DITO telco project in the country.
He said the DITO Telecommunity has started commercial services in certain parts of the Philippines early this month and would soon commence operations in Metro Manila.
“Glad to see the telecom industry in this country improving impressively in the past few years. DITO – a major telecommunication infrastructure project, participated by China Telecom, has played its part in this process,” he said.
Once fully completed, the DITO telecoms project could bring “better welfare” to Filipinos especially as people have leaned on telecommunications for work and education during the pandemic, the ambassador said.
“It could also contribute to a healthier telecom industry by providing more competitive options and playing its role in solving major internet issues,” he said.
“This good news comes at an opportune time where virtual communication, work-from-home schemes, and online schooling are more important than ever,” he said.
The ambassador remembered that he saw the Philippines’ need for better telco service when he traveled around the region during his stint as Chinese Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “I strongly felt that the Philippines needed to develop its telecom services to enhance the people’s welfare and modernize its infrastructure and economy in the information era,” he said.
President Duterte earlier pushed for the entry of a third telco carrier in the country to break the duopoly of PLDT-Smart Communications and Globe Telecoms amid widespread complaints deploring their poor services. He also previously warned the telco firms to improve their services or risk facing shutdown.