DICT meets with common tower providers and telco operators

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2019 10:16 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2019 07:07 AM

MANILA - The Department of Information Communications and Technology (DICT) met with the common tower providers and telco operators Smart Communications Inc., Globe Telecom Inc., and Mislatel on Monday morning to discuss the common tower policy.

The agency aims to release the policy by the second quarter of 2019.

DICT acting Secretary Eliseo Rio described the policy as a paradigm shift as it will open opportunities for tower builders, create more cell sites across the country, bring down costs of operating a telco, and eventually lower rates of network subscription.

"It’s a paradigm shift. Since two sila magse-share sa tower, the cost will be very much less sa cost ng tower na i-o-operate nila ngayon. Mababawasan ang CAPEX (capital expenditure) nila, pwede rin nila bawasan ang cost na napapasa sa customers," he said.

The policy will also include the number of towers that should be put up and their locations. Industry stakeholders were given 15 days to submit these details to the agency.

But Rio clarified they will not interfere on how tower builders do business with the telcos and how the telcos will share the tower.

The tower builders already signed a memorandum of understanding with the DICT that will guarantee that as soon as the tower providers receive orders from the telcos, the DICT will assist them in securing permits, which Rio said has been a major hurdle encountered by Smart and Globe.

The agency has targeted 50,000 towers in 7 to 10 years so that the Philippines will be at par with neighboring countries.