DITO targets to launch fiber-like broadband service using 5G network in Q4

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 9) — DITO Telecommunity, backed by a Chinese telco giant, is aiming to enter the home broadband market using its 5G network by the latter part of 2021, an executive said Thursday.

"Malapit na actually, within the fourth quarter gagawin na namin ito," DITO chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said during a briefing.

[Translation: We will launch this soon, within the fourth quarter.]

The official said the group has to complete a 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) user-friendly test first before it could offer the service to home customers.

DITO chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago said tapping its 5G network for its home segment is part of the group's short- to medium-term strategy as this will free the company from dealing with right-of-way issues in deploying fiber optic cables.

"We’ll provide fiber-like services without using fiber. We’re going to use our 5G network to provide FWA service to the home," Santiago said.

"That provides better if not comparable speed to the fixed wired," he said.

However, the group will eventually embrace fixed wire broadband services or fiber-to-the-home, Santiago said.

On Tuesday, DITO said it passed the second performance audit conducted by an independent auditor, where it hit a minimum average speed of 853.96 mbps for 5G.

DITO sees 6M mobile subscribers by end-2021

The group is also optimistic that its mobile subscriber base will further grow to six million by the end of the year, only nine months after officially challenging the sector's dominant players.

"We are on pace to get around five to six million subscribers by the end of the year. That's our expectation. But that's not truly our first year of operations, it's only nine months. If you were to compute for a year, it would be higher than that," Tamano said.

According to Tamano, its mobile services are now available in 233 areas. For September, the company targets to expand its presence to 53 more areas.

The company said it will further accelerate its network rollout nationwide. Aside from telco towers, DITO is also investing ₱4 billion for a submarine cable system.