The Philippines operator Globe Telecom has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ISOC Infrastructure Inc. and Malaysia-based tower company Edotco Group Sdn. Bhd., to support the common tower initiative of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). By entering this three-party agreement on the set-up of 150 mobile towers across the Philippines, Globe becomes the first telecommunications company to support the DICT initiative.
According to Globe, unlike in most other countries, the information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure spending in the Philippines has been left solely to the private sector, leading to huge gaps in cell site and wired broadband coverage across the country. For example, Vietnam has 90000 cellular towers compared to 17850 cellular stations in the Philippines. Furthermore, according to the latest data reports from TowerXchange, there are 34300 cellular towers in Pakistan, and 30000 sites in Bangladesh.
In a statement, Globe Telecom president and CEO Ernest Cu, said, “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. The building and deployment of cellular towers in the country are critical if we hope to change the internet experience of our customers.”
Michael Cosiquien, Chairman of ISOC Infrastructure Inc. currently working on projects that drive economic growth and development in urban and rural areas, stated, “ISOC and Edotco are committed to help provide the Filipino people the information highway they deserve with the common tower initiative.”
Suresh Sidhu, CEO of Edotco Group, expressed his belief that infrastructure sharing has proven to reduce the cost pressures on mobile network operators to build and maintain towers, and helps them focus more on their core business instead. He said, “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.”
In the coming seven to ten years, the DICT aims to build at least 50000 new common towers in the Philippines. The agency also revealed its plans to accelerate the deployment of 2500 common towers on properties owned by government agencies.