While Philippine mobile phone penetration exceeds 100%, only about 68% of Filipinos are connected to the internet. Dito is primed to meet that gap with a phone-focused approach, said Torio. “Dito has come up with very good pricing and promotions, they’ve been able to eat into the market.”
Need a top-up to game
So, what’s Dito doing? Partnering up.
It has partnerships with game developers Garena and Mobile Legends, as well as Unipin, a payments service provider for games. (Mobile Legends’ Bang Bang was Philippines’ highest-grossing mobile game in 2021, with Garena’s Call of Duty taking the fifth spot.) Users can use the Dito app to top up on in-game currencies, or convert their mobile load into the same currencies. It also has video partnerships with prominent video platforms like HBO Go, Vivamax and WeTV.
While PLDT and Globe also have media partnerships, none have tied up with gaming platforms so far, and have only made their video streaming bundles available for postpaid plans—89% of Filipinos, though, still stick with prepaid.
The strategy is to build a community, as suggested by the second part of Dito’s name, “telecommunity,” said Tamano. “We’re here for the long haul. I’m very confident that we will get a significant market share.”
Dito is laser-focused on building a loyal community, and has sponsored e-sports tournaments in hopes of fostering a sort of gaming hub in the Philippines, its Brand and Marketing Director Jasper Evangelista told us. “Dito has always been about serving different Filipino tell communities, whatever their interests may be…We know gaming has become a major interest among the young,” he said, adding that Dito raffled off Php 100,000 [US$1,950] and gift packages during a tournament it sponsored over Christmas.
But being well-liked isn’t enough to cement a place in the industry.
Frenemies and foreign friends
The telco’s been active for 11 months. It raised over 5 million subscribers in 2021 and plans to win 7 million more to raise its total to 12 million subscribers in 2022, Tamano told us
The Current Philippine State of Technology Governance
, adding that he thinks it’s a “pretty conservative” target.
In a country of 110 million people, 12 million subscribers is nearly 11% of the entire population. And Dito is convinced it’ll make it.
And Dito’s high subscriber count comes from more than its positive image and high internet speeds. It has a track record for meeting coverage deadlines early.