The country’s two largest telecommunication companies and an incoming one have expressed their support to a market-driven common and shared passive infrastructure policy by the government, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
Representatives from Smart Communications Inc., Globe Telecom Inc. and the Mislatel consortium stated their willingness to collaborate with the initiative in front of the interested tower providers, including the 12 companies which already signed an agreement with the DICT.
The support of telco operators will be pivotal to the smooth implementation of the common tower policy, which is expected to improve telecommunication services while lowering down its cost.
“Shared [passive] facilities through this policy would cut back unnecessary expenses from the telco operators and subscribers will benefit from this,” Acting DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said.
During the consultation Monday, the DICT requested the telcos to submit a list of areas and number of cell sites that their respective operations will need as guide for the policy.
The department since December has signed agreements with ISOC Infrastructures, Singapore’s ISON ECP Tower, IHS Towers, Edotco Group, RT Telecom of Malaysia, China Energy Engineering Corp, Aboitiz InfraCapital and MGS Construction.
American Towers, Frontier Tower Associates Management, Phil Tower Consortium (Global Networks Inc. and JTower Inc.) and J.S. Cruz Construction and Development Inc. were the three new signees this week.
The tower firms must first secure a business contract from the telcos for the government to provide assistance through facilitation of permits, right-of-way, and other government requirements for infrastructure.
The DICT is set to finalize the common tower policy by the second quarter of 2019.
The Philippine needs at least around 50,000 cellular towers to be able to have the proper coverage and provide adequate service to the Philippine people.
The existing cellular towers nationwide stood at around 16,000, covering only 8,000 locations.