DITO Telecommunity looks set to be a long-standing contender in the Philippines after the country’s House of Representatives cleared the renewal of its franchise for the next 25 years.
The incoming third major player was granted its franchise in November 2018, and the house has now approved its renewal in a vote of 240 to seven with no abstentions, as reported by CommsUpdate.
With its franchise, DITO is permitted to “construct, install, establish, operate, and maintain wired and/or wireless telecommunications systems” across the Philippines.
The operator – which was formerly known as Mislatel - is targeting a commercial launch in March 2021, despite a series of setbacks including shareholders withdrawing their funding and divesting their interests.
The operator did not reveal that it would miss its technical launch deadline until just a week ahead of time, and has failed to build out 75% of its required cell sites for its first year. However, the government has granted it an additional six months to conduct a technical audit given the circumstances around the pandemic.
DITO Telecommunity is led by Singapore’s Dennis Uy, and is supported by investors including Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp, Udenna Corp and China Telecom.