The Department of Information and Communications Technology said it is set to sign this week separate agreements with three foreign companies to build cellular towers nationwide.
The DICT said it would sign agreements with Nigeria’s IHS Towers, Malaysia’s Edotco Towers and China Energy to build common towers in the country.
Malaysia’s Edotco Group specializes in end-to-end solutions in the tower services sector, including co-locations, build-to-suit, energy, transmission and operations, and maintenance. It operates more than 29,000 towers in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan.
IHS Towers, meanwhile, provides site build services for mobile network operators in Nigeria.
The DICT earlier said that there would be no limitation in the ownership structure of tower companies, with foreigners allowed to own up to 100 percent of these companies.
ISOC Infrastructure Inc., the first to sign an agreement with DICT in December, plans to build 25,000 towers nationwide in seven years for P100 billion.
The agreement will pave the way for the DICT to support a common tower company in facilitating permits and right of way and provide other government support for infrastructure.
The department said it was looking to grant subsidies to common tower companies to build cellular towers in underserved and unserved areas.
The agency said the maximum rollout of one tower company would be 25,000 for a seven-year period.
Each tower company is projected to invest $2 billion.
It said the Philippines would need at least 50,000 cellular towers to have the proper coverage and provide adequate service to the Filipino consumers.
The Philippines has around 16,000 towers, covering 8,000 locations at present.