telcom tower third player
DITO Telecommunity Corp. is in talks with common tower providers, with a deal expected to be signed within the week.

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

NEW telecommunications player Dito Telecommunity Corp. will soon be joining industry giants Globe Telecom, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. in engaging with common tower companies, saying it is scheduled to sign this week its first agreement with a provider.

Dito Chief Administrative Officer Adel A. Tamano told BusinessWorld yesterday the company is in talks with common tower providers and will be signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in days’ time.

“We will sign within the week,” he said in a mobile message, but refused to disclose with which company.

Dito Interim Chief Technology Officer Rodolfo D. Santiago said in August the company had short-listed around seven to eight providers after it called for proposals from common tower companies in March.

Cosette V. Canilao, chief operating officer of tower provider Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc., recently told reporters it is in advanced talks with Dito for a common tower agreement.

“For Dito, we’ve already signed the NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and we’re working towards signing the MoU. We’re also talking about their requirements,” she told reporters on the sidelines of a company event on Sept. 12.

Aboitiz InfraCapital is partnering with Frontier Tower Associates Philippines (FTAP) in its business venture of providing telecommunications towers to network operators. The tandem had previously signed an MoU with Globe and Smart.

Aside from Aboitiz InfraCapital and FTAP, the joint venture of edotco Group Sdn Bhd and ISOC Infrastructure, Inc. also said earlier it is talking with Dito to sign an agreement for common towers. They have also signed an MoU with Globe and Smart.

Dito is targeting to have its commercial launch by the second quarter of next year. Mr. Santiago previously said it is a big help for the company to be able to tap existing infrastructure assets to support its network rollout within schedule, as building everything from scratch may take longer.

Dito, formerly called Mislatel, is owned by Dennis A. Uy’s Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and China Telecommunications Corp.