Udenna seeks P205-B loan, new partners

Udenna Group said Tuesday that its telecom unit DITO Telecommunity Corp. expects to finish negotiations with a consortium of lenders headed by Bank of China for a $4.1 billion (P205 billion) long-term loan.

In a statement, Udenna said the capital will finance the expansion of its network nationwide as it plans to cover 84 percent of the population by 2024.

The move, according to Udenna, is part of the group’s overall strategy to manage resources and support its growth story by tapping strategic partners for some of its subsidiaries.

Businessman Dennis A. Uy, who heads the Udenna Group, said he is looking for partners who can help the company “further expand our businesses and promote brands.”

“We have clearly spelled out our growth strategy which does not simply include selling assets. Like all visionary entrepreneurs, we want to go beyond the buy and sell mentality and move towards a more sustainable business that protects and supports the thousands of families that depend on us,” Uy said.

Third telco

DITO, which broke the telecommunications duopoly in the country, reported that it already hit its annual base subscribers target of 12 million as early as August.

The telco player set the target by year-end but managed to attain it in less than a year and a half — surpassing milestones since it began commercial operations in March 2021.

With more than 5,500 cellular towers built, DITO Telecommunity has increased its coverage to over 600 cities and municipalities and has effectively breached its 70 percent population coverage target.

“The overwhelming reception we get from DITOzens has always served as inspiration. Their unwavering support has continued to motivate us to remain committed to our promise of providing Filipino better, stronger, and more affordable connectivity they deserve,” DITO Telecommunity chief administrative officer Adel A. Tamano said.

DITO made its debut by deploying a standalone 5G network nationwide, making its architecture 5G from the ground up.

“Since we started our roll-out in 2019, we have been developing our 5G network. Our goal has been to allow Filipinos to experience next-generation technology and we in DITO are excited to bring 5G to more areas in the country to truly transform digital connectivity and online interactions,” DITO chief technology officer Rodolfo Santiago.

DITO uses 5G technology to provide greater capacity, wider coverage, and faster internet connection speed which is 20 times faster than 4G.

Relatedly, the telco’s 5G Home Wifi continues to attract a growing number of users. As of August 2022, the service has expanded to over 600 municipalities and cities in the greater Metro Manila area, providing speeds of up to 500Mbps for as low as P590 per month.

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