Globe Telecom has taken a step forward to fulfill its plans to divest its tower assets. This is in line with the company's thrust to continuously improve internet connectivity in the Philippines.
On Thursday, July 5, Globe disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that it began the process of incorporating a separate tower holding company. As soon as it gets approval from the SEC, this will operationalize the divestment of all or part of its tower assets through a separate company. Early this year, Globe announced that it has initiated talks with independent third parties for its tower assets.
“As a major industry player we understand what this country needs to improve the internet experience of our customers. Putting up more towers based on global standards within strategic areas will make spectrum use more efficient. We should work together and find all means to supplement the build for towers – either through telcos or tower companies. This, in turn, will bring us closer to first world internet connectivity," said Ernest Cu, president, and CEO of Globe Telecom.
The company has been pushing for the establishment of tower companies similar to those found in other developed countries. "This initiative will help accelerate the deployment of more cellular towers in the Philippines and foster competition," added Cu.
With the proposed tower holding company, any player can do outright lease of the towers using standard, non-discriminatory commercial terms. The lack of cellular towers has long been identified as the greatest barrier to seamless mobile internet connectivity with no viable short term solution due to permitting issues.
"We remain open to collaborate with new and existing players in the interest of national development,” said Cu.
The Philippines has one of the lowest tower densities in the world with under 20,000 towers serving 100 million people. Approximately 50,000 more towers should be built in order to serve current voice and data traffic that continuously grows exponentially every year.