DITO’s 5G network leaves many ‘disenfranchised’ – ICT advocacy group
MANILA, Philippines — DITO Telecommunity’s 5G network leaves many Filipinos “disenfranchised,” as only a small number of smartphones are compatible with its network services, an information and communication technology (ICT) advocacy group warned.
Democracy.net.ph, the ICT advocacy group tasked by the Senate public services committee with evaluating DITO’s commercial launch, questioned why the third telco chose to begin operations in rural areas where most customers do not own smartphones.
“The feature phone market in the Philippines is still very high, especially used by classes D and E, or our kababayans that run on 2G frequency. I’m surprised Dito Telecommunity restricted their list [of compatible phones],” said Pierre Galla, engineer and co-founder of Democracy.net.ph.
DITO made it clear during its March 8 commercial launch that only a small number of smartphones were compatible with its network services, providing a shortlist of smartphones that had been reviewed and found to be compatible.
Rodolfo Santiago, chief technical officer of DITO, said that other phones that were not on the telco’s shortlist could still operate with the network. However, the company cannot guarantee that its users would not encounter technical difficulties.
“To protect the public, there may be technical issues that are unforeseen,” Santiago said.
According to Galla, at least 60 percent of Filipinos continue to use legacy phones such as older Nokia models.
Meanwhile, DITO has yet to launch a subscriber plan that bundles a phone with its SIM.
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