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DIGITEL Philippines Rolls Out Internet Services

Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc. (DIGITEL) has launched a new division, DigitelOne Data Communication Services, with two main service areas, Data Express and Internet Service, available from May 1.

Under the Data Express branch are Frame Relay Service and the Data Leased Line Service. The Internet Service is offered as a premium service to DIGITEL subscribers.

According to DIGITEL, this host of services will make possible voice, data, and video to a wider market across Luzon.

"DigitelOne is a division of DIGITEL that caters to the demanding requirements of the next generation that includes a convergence of voice, data, internet, video in one network," said Venancio Chan, assistant vice president of DIGITEL. "We believe in the concept of One World, One Network."

In regard to the frame relay service, Chan stated, "We have 17 frame relay switches, 80 nodes in the entire area of Luzon at this point. Most of the telecommunication and data carriers focus on the metropolis and nearby progressive towns and provinces. We established points in unheard towns such as Cabaraguis and Solsona."

The company serves more than 200 towns and municipalities in Luzon. "Today, the data communications service got 50 accounts -- mostly banks. We are less expensive than leased lines by 20-40 percent depending on distance, bandwidth, and configuration," Chan added.

For the Internet service, Chan said that DIGITEL phone subscribers need only call the access number to get connected with no registrations requirements.

"You don't need to register, no passwords, no authentication, no monthly charges," Chan added. "You're directly on the Internet already."

DIGITEL has more than 200,000 telephone subscribers in Luzon and parts of Metro Manila. Subscribers who use the Internet service pay 75 centavos (US$.02) per minute.

At present, 5-10 percent of DIGITEL telephone subscribers have access to the Internet through several Internet Service Providers.

With more than US$3 million invested, the project took one year to develop from conception.

For the market, the infrastructure investment has been significant.

A multi-service telecommunications service provider, DIGITEL's service areas span across Luzon including certain areas in the National Capital Region.

According to DIGITEL, management is set on making DigitelOne the ISP of choice in one year. The company also states that it will build the biggest domestic frame relay service in the country.