HONG KONG-based investment firm KKR Asia Ltd. announced on Tuesday its investment in infrastructure solutions provider Pinnacle Towers Pte. Ltd. to “strengthen and expand” the telecommunications infrastructure in the Philippines.

Pinnacle, through its principal subsidiary Frontier Tower Associates Philippines, Inc. (FTAP), “aims to strengthen and expand the Philippines’ telecom infrastructure at a time when Filipino mobile users increasingly demand reliable data-rich, high-speed, affordable connectivity, and more generally to address the rapidly growing demands for telecom infrastructure in and around Southeast Asia,” KKR said in a statement.

FTAP is an independent tower company in the Philippines.

FTAP is among the first 23 tower companies that have secured a provisional license to own, construct, manage, and operate common towers hosting cellular sites.

Its provisional certificate, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), is valid until Dec. 31.

The issuance of a provisional certificate should provide tower companies with enough time to complete all the requirements for full registration and permitting “within the time period,” the department said in a statement in September.

Patrick Tangney, chairman and chief executive officer of Pinnacle, said: “KKR’s investment comes at a pivotal time: the Philippines – and Asia more generally – is one of the world’s fastest-growing and most dynamic mobile markets. Improving telecom infrastructure has become a key priority, especially in our current environment.”

David Luboff, partner and head of Asia Pacific Infrastructure at KKR, said: “The telecommunications sector in the Philippines has grown rapidly in the past few years amid the increasing demand for connectivity. This has led to a resource imbalance and the need to expand existing infrastructure to allow operators to provide better service and coverage to their customers. Our investment in Pinnacle reiterates our commitment to addressing this need and supporting the Philippines’ transition to a connected, digital nation.”

The DICT is encouraging tower-sharing to improve cell site density, which is said to be one of the lowest in the region at 4,000 subscribers per tower. — Arjay L. Balinbin