Philippines operator Dito Telecommunity earmarked more than PHP50 billion ($972.9 million) to expand its network in 2022, noting in a stock market filing the funding is already in place.

Dito issued the statement in response to local media reports. In it, chief administrative officer Adel Tamano explained the company is fully-funded for the rest of 2022, having secured loans and equity, and will also use revenue to fund capex.

It plans to increase population coverage to 70 per cent as required in its third year in operation. At end-September 2021, an audit found its coverage topped the 50 per cent level it committed to delivering in its second year.

Dito is a joint venture between Udenna Group and China Telecom. It ended January with 6 million subscribers and aims to double the figure in 2022.

Tamano stated the company had more than 4,000 towers at the end of 2021.

It also plans to increase its workforce to nearly 2,000 from some 900.

It launched operations in 17 cities in southern Philippines in March 2021, a year later than originally planned.