June 17, 2019
More than 20 potential providers were already enticed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) common-tower initiative.
But while the number of interested tower companies (towercos) have risen to 23, acting DICT chief Eliseo Rio Jr. said the agency would continue signing memoranda of understanding (MoU) as the number of players would depend on market forces.
Rio noted neighboring country Vietnam has around 30 common tower providers.
Groups that have signed MoU with the DICT are ISOC Infrastructures Inc., ISON ECP Tower Singapore Pte. Ltd., Edotco Group Sdn Bhd and RT Telecom Sdn Bhd of Malaysia, IHS Towers, China Energy Equipment Co. Ltd., Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., MGS Construction Inc., American Towers, Frontier Tower Associates Management, Phil Tower Consortium (Global Networks Inc. and JTower Inc.), JS Cruz Construction and Development Inc., DT Towers, Korea’s Shinheung Telecom Co. Ltd., Filipino-Indian consortium ALT Global Solutions Inc., LCS Holdings Inc., China Construction First Group Corp., ACODA Towers Sdn Bhd, CREI Management Services FZE, Tamoin Industrial Services Corp., EEI Corp., Tiger Infrastructure Pte. Ltd., and China Construction Yangtze River Sdn. Bhd.
However, they still need to secure a business contract with existing telcos, including new telco carrier Mislatel consortium, before they could get support from the government for the establishment of shared towers to the initial 2,500 sites.
Late in May, the DICT released common tower guidelines to initiate the rollout of cell sites. The list of the 2,500 identified areas will be given to the independent tower companies (ITCs), each of which should be “duly incorporated and validly existing domestic corporation registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
The firm itself or a member of its consortium must have at least five years of technical expertise in the said field, or have operated at minimum of 1,000 towers either in the local or foreign market.
The ITC should also be independent or not related to any mobile network operators (MNOs) “to promote non-discriminatory access and uniformity and transparency in tower leasing arrangements,” the rule read.
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