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Dito to tap alternative raw materials suppliers to avoid rollout problems

Dito to tap alternative raw materials suppliers to avoid rollout problems

China Telecom-backed Dito Telecommunity, the country’s newest telco player, is planning to mitigate further delays in its network rollout as the supply of its required raw materials takes a hit from the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dito, which sources fiber cables and steel for its telco towers from China, will explore alternative supplier-countries with no supply chain disruptions, chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago said on Wednesday.

“Our vendors are confident that since they also have other manufacturing plants in other countries, they would request subsidiaries to prioritize supplying the Philippines,” Santiago said.

Adel Tamano, Dito chief administrative officer, said they were closely monitoring the spread of the new virus, which started in China, a manufacturing powerhouse that is oftentimes dubbed the world’s factory.

Tamano said the outbreak that had claimed over 2,700 lives and made more than 80,000 people worldwide sick could be considered a force majeure, or unforeseen event.

He said that while Dito can legally cite force majeure for a rollout extension, the company was working to meet its rollout commitments.

“We are taking remedial measures so we will not let this delay our rollout,” Tamano said.

Last week, Dito officials said the launch of commercial services could come as late as March 2021 despite expectations it would be ready by July this year.

The company, which is controlled by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, said it was on track for its technical launch in July, meaning the start of monitoring of its commitment to cover 37 percent of the country’s population with a minimum average speed of 27 megabits per second in its first year.

On Wednesday, Dito officials, along with Gregorio Honasan II, secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, led the inspection of one of its cell sites in Quezon City. The company said it had about 700 sites and promised it would have 1,600 locations for its technical rollout launch in July.

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