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DITO Telecom avoids price war, bares market strategy

December 6, 2021

DITO CME Holdings Corp. of businessman Dennis Uy said its telecom unit will not engage in a price war with the two major players and will instead focus on delivering faster internet.

“The way we are challenging the market is not the same way as Sun Celular did in the late 2010. The game is different and the investment is more serious this time,” DITO CME president Ernesto Alberto said in an interview.

Alberto said instead of igniting a price war, Dito Telecommunity would try to gain a market share from the other players by delivering faster speed, differentiating consumer experience and offering simpler products to customers.

“What the market needs right now is data. The market needs a platform that will deliver speed and security and that is what we intend to do,” Alberto said.

“We intend not to be the cheapest but the highest value for money. We try to be competitive and delivering to customers what they really need and that is pure and unadulterated service and not branding,” he said.

DITO Telecommunity, the third major telecom player, had a national population coverage of 52.75 percent based on the second audit of the National Telecommunications Commission, along with minimum average speeds of 89.13 megabits per second for 4G and 853.96 mbps for 5G.

Alberto said the need for data cuts across all classes of the economy, unlike in the previous years when digital was only for the A and B market.

He said DITO CME is also raising up to P8 billion from a stock rights offering to provide better mobile experience to customers and fund its network rollout.

DITO CME chief finance Joseph John Ong said the company was not slowing on construction of cell sites, after building 2,000 stations in 2020 and possibly another 2,000 this year.

As a result, the company’s subscriber base breached 4 million as of end-November and could hit 4.5 to 5 million by end-2021.

“If we continue with the pace we are doing which is 2,000 stations in 2020, and we think we can do the same if not more in 2021 and moving forward, I think it would be fair to assume that we will be able to double our subscriber base, assuming all things being equal,” Ong said.

Based on the registration statement filed with corporate regulators, DITO CME will offer up to 1.639 billion common shares at P4.88 to P6.88 per share.

The rights offering would be held by early 2022. The company tapped ChinaBank Capital as the sole underwriter for the offering.

The net proceeds will be used to fund additional capital in DITO Telecommunity.


This story originally appeared in Manila Standard.

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