The Department of Information and Communications Technology signed an agreement with RT Telecom Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia to construct at least 15,000 cell sites in the Philippines for more than five years.
Subhash Devan, chief operating officer of RT Telecom told reporters the company would be spending $800 million to $1 billion to roll out 15,000 cell sites nationwide.
“We see a lot of growth in the Philippine market and we are very familiar with the rollout in the Philippines,” he said.
RT Telecom is under the umbrella of Rohas Tecnic Berhad, a global infrastructure company in power, telecommunication, water and steel fabrication industries.
The company built over 3,000 sites with various companies in Southeast Asia and other regions.
RT Telecom has implemented similar “full turnkey” rollout for Ericsson Telecommunications Inc., Globe Telecom, Digital Mobile Philippines Inc. and Smart Telecom and constructed more than 1,000 cell sites spanning throughout the Philippines.
RT Telecom is the sixth common tower provider that signed memorandum of understanding with DICT.
“The more tower providers we have, the better,” DICT acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said.
The department earlier signed separate memoranda of understanding with Nigeria’s IHS Towers and Malaysia’s Edotco Group China Energy Engineering Group, ISOC Infrastructures Inc. and Singapore’s ISON ECP Tower Pte. Ltd.
Under the MOUs with these companies, the DICT would support them in facilitating permits, right of way and providing other government support for infrastructure once they secured a contract with any of the telco operators.
The Philippines currently has 17,000 cellular towers nationwide, servicing 7,000 subscribers per tower.