PLDT Inc. said it is supporting the government’s common tower policy to hasten the development of new cellular towers nationwide.
“A number of these tower companies have approached us, and we said we’re willing to cooperate in respect to new towers,” PLDT chairman and president Manuel Pangilinan said.
“The formula is flexible. If they are willing to sell to us after they build towers, we’re willing to buy them or just lease the towers, and tell us if they are going to lease them to other telcos. We need to know. We’re willing to support,” he said.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology earlier signed separate memoranda of understanding with ISOC Infrastructures Inc., Singapore’s ISON ECP Tower Pte. Ltd., Nigeria’s IHS Towers, Malaysia’s Edotco Group and China Energy Engineering Corp. for the construction of cellular towers nationwide.
The DICT said it would support the five companies in facilitating permits and right of way and provide other government support for infrastructure if they secure a contract with any of the telco operators.
The DICT said it was opting for a market-driven approach in accelerating the build-up of more cell sites.
Acting DICT Secretary Eliseo Rio said the Philippines, with less than 20,000 towers, had the smallest number of towers given its land area and population compared to its neighboring countries.
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.
The DICT said the Philippines would need at least around 50,000 cellular towers to have the proper coverage and provide adequate service to the Filipino consumers.