Globe Telecom Inc. on Monday said it signed a tripartite agreement with two common tower companies in a bid to speed up the rollout of cell sites nationwide.
Globe, a unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp., signed a memorandum of understanding with ISOC Infrastructure Inc. and Malaysia-based tower giant edotco Group Sdn. Bhd. to support the common tower initiative of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
“ICT infrastructure is the foundation of a highly-connected digital economy. While we have made significant improvements on the quality of internet experience, there is still a large gap to fill so we can be at par with our neighbors in terms of infrastructure,” said Globe president and chief executive Ernest Cu.
Cu added ISOC and edotco, who were the first towercos to seek vendor accreditation with Globe, would build an initial 150 sites for the company. The estimated cost per cell site is $100,000.
“The building and deployment of cellular towers in the country are critical if we hope to change the internet experience of our customers,” he said.
The DICT signed agreements with 23 tower companies with ISOC and edotco leading the pack. Despite the agreements, the government has yet to release a common tower policy governing tower companies in the country.
Michael Cosiquien, chairman of ISOC Infrastructure, Inc., said his company and edotco were committed to help provide the Filipino people the information highway they deserve with the common tower initiative.
Suresh Sidhu, chief executive of edotco Group, was equally encouraged by the DICT’s decision to open the market and accredit independent tower companies.
“Our efforts in the Philippines are motivated by the clear opportunity to reshape the telecommunications landscape and as an independent tower company, we are in the right position to facilitate and manage these advancements,” Suresh said.
Suresh added infrastructure sharing had proven to help mobile network operators focus on their core business and service offerings by alleviating the cost pressure of building and maintaining towers.
“We have partnered with governments, regulators, and operators in all the countries in which we are present and have a wealth of best practices that we hope to implement here. Our focus is not merely addressing digital gaps today but on building shareable infrastructure for the future, creating the right environment for the nation’s digital transformation aspirations,” he said.
The DICT plans to build at least 50,000 new common towers across the country in the next seven to 10 years.