Who Owns the DITO Telecommunity Corporation?
Been hearing the name Dennis Uy floating around?
(SPOT.ph) The third major telco player in the country, DITO Telecommunity Corporation, has just had their 25-year franchise renewal bid approved by the House of Representatives. Their current franchise expires on April 24, 2023. And well, unsurprisingly, the advanced timing of the House for this specific franchise renewal bid had everyone on Twitter throwing extreme shade.
The name Dennis Uy is among the top Twitter trends as of writing. The Davao-based businessman is tagged as the owner of the third telco player, and is the chairman and chief executive officer of Udenna Corporation. His hold on DITO is thanks to the fact that the telco is composed of the Udenna Corporation and its sister company the Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corporation—along with China Telecom, a Chinese state-owned company.
The Udenna Corporation has offices in Davao City, Manila, and Singapore. Part of its listings include Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, Inc.; Enderun Colleges; Conti’s Bakeshop & Restaurant; Wenhpil Corp.; Eight-8-Ate Holdings, Inc.; PH Resorts Group Holdings, Inc.; and the Udenna Infrastructure Corp. In 2019, they reported a net profit of P3.39 billion thanks to its subsidiary Udenna Land, Inc., a property development business, according to Business World.
Part of its listed companies, the Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corporation is "the biggest shipping and logistics company in the Philippines," according to their website. Their subsidiaries include the Chelsea Shipping Corp., Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Inc., Worklink Services, Inc., Starlite Ferries, Inc., SuperCat Fast Ferry Corporation and 2GO Group, Inc.
Udenna and Chelsea control 60% of DITO, while China Telecom gets 40%—the maximum share for foreign ownership under our laws—according to the PNA. Of the three, only the Chinese-state owned company has previous experience in the telco industry.
The National Telecommunications Commission officially confirmed DITO as the third major player in November 2018, with the goal of breaking the Globe and PLDT duopoly. Back then, it was known as Mislatel, short for the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company, Inc. and had been around for quite some time. Their franchise was questioned way back in 1998 after it failed to make the one-year deadline to begin operations, reports the PNA.
The telco promised to bring 5G technology to the Philippines and received the permits to begin operations in July 2019. This was around the same time they rebranded as the DITO Telecommunity Corporation. They aim to begin commercial services by March 2021.