GLOBE TELECOM, Inc. is calling for the easing of restrictions on building passive telecommunications infrastructure such as cell sites, claiming that easier rules would aid network operators in operating more efficiently by reducing power consumption.

At a Power Summit event held in Globe’s Bonifacio Global City offices Friday, Globe Chief Technology and Information Officer Gil B. Genio said adding more cell sites across the country will help telecommunications firms minimize their use of energy.

“The more dense cell sites we have, the less power these cell sites consume. This is a message we want to convey to our public sector. Allow us to build more cell sites so we can effectively manage our energy consumption,” he said.

He said the Ayala-controlled telco is currently using 360 Megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity ever year, and estimates the company’s power bill at P3.5 billion.

Mr. Genio added that for the past thee years, Globe’s power requirement also included 9 million liters of diesel fuel to power generators each year, at a cost of about P348 million.

“The positive economic impact of us in telecom is undeniable — from connectivity to contribution to GDP (gross domestic project) and employment. But the downside is the energy consumption that powers our developments,” Mr. Genio said.

“A more dense cell site network allows both telecom operator as well as individual consumers lower overall power consumption,” he added.

Globe has said that the government’s stringent requirements to build out telecommunications infrastructure is a big challenge that is keeping the industry from thriving.

It said around 25 permits are needed before Globe is allowed to put up a cell site, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) confirms this claim.

“I know site density is a hard problem to solve, it is not entirely within our control. But this is a message from a public policy perspective that we are consistently giving our government… Allow us to build more sites faster… and overall power consumption of both operators and consumers will actually come down,” Mr. Genio said.

The DICT said it is currently studying rules on infrastructure sharing, which it plans to finalize within the year. It is also offering help to common tower providers in securing permits needed to roll out infrastructure across the country. — Denise A. Valdez