Telcos to be stripped of cell site-building role as common towers eyed

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 19 2018 12:51 PM | Updated as of Jan 19 2018 02:28 PM

MANILA - Telecommunications companies will no longer be allowed to build their own cell sites, an adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday, as part of government's efforts to improve mobile services.

The construction of cell sites will be delegated to private firms and the structures will be leased to the telcos, said Ramon "RJ" Jacinto, presidential adviser on economic affairs.

Carriers will keep their existing cell sites but have the option to sell them to Tower Co. The government has the option to invest in the cell site builder, Jacinto told reporters.

Such a setup would make the deployment of cell sites and the entry of a third player to challenge Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc easier, he said.

Jacinto said the set up was approved by the Cabinet and guidelines would be out in February.

The President wants a third player to challenge the dominance of PLDT and Globe up and running by the first quarter, Malacanang had said.