Would there be a cost to getting the promise of the future today?
Dito Telecom or simply Dito promises to bring 5G network to the country with a minimum average Internet speed of 27 mbps on its first year, almost double the average mobile download speed. Currently, average mobile download speed is 16mbps while the average fixed download speed 28 mbps. It will come in the market with a pure or stand alone 5G network and promises lower prices for faster Internet speed. Once complete, this kind of network, they say will bring Internet download speeds to gigabytes. Measuring Internet speed by mbps will be a thing of the past.
The catch is Dito is 40% owned by China Tel, a Chinese government company. Well, the catch is more complex than ownership. Some argue that Globe and Smart are also partly owned by foreigners. Globe is partly owned by Singtel Group, a Singaporean company. Smart is partly owned by Japanese companies and other nationalities. However, China’s case is unique. By law, its citizens and companies are required to support and assist with state intelligence work. Other countries like Singapore and Japan do not require its citizens to help with their government’s information gathering.
There’s also our own country’s cybersecurity and cyberdefense capability. Can the government really secure our officials’ texts, calls and emails with a major telecom theoretically being able to listen in on them? Senators Grace, Risa and Kiko would like to know. There’s also the issue of conflict between our countries. Let us not forget that their own diplomats proclaim some of our islands in the West Philippine Sea as Chinese territory. Neither Singapore nor Japan is claiming any of our islands much less are building bases on them.
At the very least, on the heels of a major 3rd player, Globe and Smart have already started offering access to its 5g network in certain parts of the country. I guess in the years to come, with our cheaper and better Internet, we’ll find out how China’s investment will affect our country and in the end you and I.