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Aboitiz set to sign MoU with DICT for common towers

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By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

ABOITIZ InfraCapital, Inc. is joining the government’s initiative to welcome providers of telecommunications infrastructure as it scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) today.

Jose Emmanuel “Jimbo” P. Reverente of Aboitiz InfraCapital confirmed the company’s plans in a mobile message on Wednesday.

“Yes we’re signing,” he said, noting the details of the plan would largely rely on the telcos it would get to request for a common tower.

This makes Aboitiz InfraCapital the seventh common tower provider to sign an MoU with the DICT, the others being ISOC Infrastructures, Inc.; ISON ECP Tower Pte. Ltd.; IHS Holding Ltd. (IHS Towers); edotco Group Sdn Bhd; China Energy Equipment Co. Ltd. and RT Telecom Sdn Bhd.

With the MoU, the common tower providers are guaranteed the DICT’s assistance in securing permits to install telco infrastructure once they get orders from the companies.

DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. had earlier said bureaucratic hurdles are common problems experienced in rolling out towers, particularly the number of permits required.

The government is keen on encouraging tower providers to take over the installation of cell sites that may be used by more than one telco, contrary to the current practice of PLDT, Inc. and Globe Telecom, Inc. where they build their own solo-use towers.

The DICT says there is a need for at least 50,000 towers on top of the less than 20,000 towers currently in place. which Mr. Rio says is “the smallest number of towers considering its land area and population compared to other countries in the region.”

Both PLDT and Globe are open to signing deals with tower companies.

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