Dito Telecommunity increased its telecoms tower count to nearly 1,900, claiming the buildout takes its population coverage to more than the 37 per cent mandated by the Philippines government for its first year, BusinessWorld reported.

Dito chief administrative officer Adel Tamano said the company had deployed more than enough sites to achieve its commitments, which also require it to deliver download data rates of 27Mb/s by January 2021.

The operator was named as the country’s third major operator in November 2018 was. It has since signed agreements with ten tower companies and planned to build about 600 towers in the current quarter.

CTO Rodolfo Santiago said in October its coverage would reach nearly 50 per cent of the population by year-end, PhilStar wrote.

The operator previously delayed its commercial launch until March 2021.

Tamano said it is targeting 70 per cent coverage in its third year of operation and plans to exceed 90 per cent coverage in the fifth year, above the 84 per cent required, BusinessWorld stated.

He was speaking at a senate hearing about renewing its franchise, which expires in 2023.

The committee pushed back its decision until after the operator launches. It also reportedly held an executive session to discuss cybersecurity concerns regarding China Telecom, which holds a 40 per cent share in Dito and was recently added to a list blocking US investment.