The Department of Information and Communications Technology on Thursday signed an agreement with Isoc Infrastructures Inc. to construct common telecom towers nationwide.
Isoc is led by businessman Michael Cosiquien, co-founder of Megawide Construction Corp.
“Isoc is the first to submit a proposal on common telco towers, and we recognize their determination and commitment to pursue this to help push the objective of providing faster, more reliable and affordable internet and telco services to the Filipino people,” DICT acting Secretary Eliseo Rio said.
Rio said the MOU was just in time for the entry of the third telecom player and was a part of the over-all plan to improve telco services nationwide.
The MOU is a commitment for both parties to assist in the common tower scheme where the DICT commits to facilitate the permitting and regulatory process, help identify and provide sites for the towers such as public buildings, government lots, among others, he said.
Isoc committed commits to work with the telecom companies in the roll-out of their improvement and expansion plans, especially for those areas that are in immediate need of access and connectivity.
The MOA will take effect for a period of 12 months from signing.
Cosiquien, chairman of Isoc Infra, said he was optimistic that the tower-sharing model would be beneficial not only to the telecom operators but also to government.
“The MOU with the DICT is proof of our strong desire to invest in improving the telco infrastructure in the country and to help contribute to the development of this industry with the telco providers as our partners,” Cosiquien said.
Cosiquien earlier said that his company would build 25 towers nationwide in seven years for P100 billion. The company committed to invest about P20 billion in the first three years.
The common tower scheme is expected to provide the necessary infrastructure to help improve the country’s communication channels.
Isoc Infra submitted its proposal in July to build a network of telecommunication towers nationwide that can be commonly shared by the existing and incoming telco players.
Telecom companies such as Globe and Smart can lease the towers and free up their capital and resources to further improve their network services, effectively lowering the cost of telco services for consumers.
Rio said the government would sign similar agreements to anyone else who wanted to be a common tower provider. He also said the proposed common tower policy was “put on hold.”
“This will more or less be a temporary solution while we are trying to finalize a common tower policy,” Rio said.
Tower sharing is an existing business model in the telecom industry that has been proven effective in Southeast Asia, the United States and other parts of the world.