THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said it wants to partner with telecommunications firms for its common tower initiative through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will also include the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
In a statement on Monday, the agency said the MoU will be part of the government’s target of installing 50,000 common towers all over the country over the next seven years.
“In the said MOU, the DICT and NTC will identify sites where common towers are recommended to be built, with a target of 3,000 sites on Year 1 and gradually increasing it to 10,000 sites from Year 5 to Year 7. Telcos will also coordinate with the two parties in the identification of priority sites,” it said.
It also noted the MoU will have provisions that would “avoid tower duplication, as well as connect more missionary areas through a possible government subsidy.”
The DICT is still crafting a revised common tower policy, which is targeted to be released within the month.
“Telcos will be the end-user of these common towers so we fully need their cooperation to improve our overall telecommunication landscape,” DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. said in the statement.
Smart Communications, Inc.; Globe Telecom, Inc. and incoming third telco Mislatel consortium have all said earlier they are supportive of the common tower initiative of the government.
As of last week, the DICT had signed MoUs with 15 common tower providers, all aiming to receive orders for common towers from the telcos. Their MoUs with the DICT state the government will only help them in securing regulatory permits once they have signed deals with telcos. — Denise A. Valdez