The mobile operator launched commercially in May and is seeking to take a 30% market share from rivals Globe Telecom and Smart Communications
The journey of new Filipino operator Dito has so far been a rocky one.
Officially launched as Mislatel back in 2019, the company soon rebranded as Dito Telecommunity and announced that it would invest $6 billion in its new network, attempting capture 30% of the Filipino mobile market.
However, such ambitions were made to wait, with Dito tangled in a web of bureaucracy and legislation for around two years, during which time the Philippines’ controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte, became steadily more irate with the performance of Globe and Smart, threatening to close them entirely if their performance did not improve.
Dito finally launched commercially in March 2021, planning to rapidly expand services across the nation’s many islands.
Now, just five months after launch, Dito has reached the two million subscriber milestone.
“In less than five months after our official launch, we have just reached 2 million subscribers, covering around 200 cities nationwide,” read a company post on Facebook.
Based on the company’s current coverage, Dito’s network can reach roughly 37.5% of the population of the Philippines. As part of its licencing agreement, Dito must cover 84% of the population by the end of its fifth year of commercial operations.
For the time being, however, Dito is still dwarfed by its more established rivals, Globe and Smart, both of whom recorded a total subscriber base of over 70 million in 2020, the vast majority of which were prepaid customers. The Philippines has a population of around 110 million people.
Nonetheless, this growth exceeds expectations for Dito, who announced at launch they were targeting 2.5 million mobile subscribers by the end of 2021.
In fact, Dito’s journey to capture a larger portion of the mobile market could soon be made easier still, with a new law soon being introduced to enforce mobile number portability (MNP) between the operators, thus making it easier for customers to switch provider while retaining their original number. The MNP measures are expected to come into action at the end of September.
Whether this new law will help drive up competition between the Philippine’s national operators remains to be seen, but Dito’s rapid growth shows that the new market entrant could indeed be a serious threat to the current telecoms hierarchy.
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