THE government aims to put up 50,000 shareable cell sites in the next seven to 10 years. — GLOBE

GLOBE Telecom, Inc. has secured its second deal to order shareable telecommunications infrastructure from the tandem of Aboitiz InfraCapital, Inc. and Frontier Tower Associates Philippines (FTAP).

In a joint statement, Globe, Aboitiz InfraCapital and FTAP said they signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) Tuesday to roll out common towers in the regions of Cebu, Davao and Olongapo.

“The MoU, in support of the common tower initiatives of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), will explore the possibility of leasing build-to-suit sites, towers, and other passive telecommunications infrastructure and facilities,” it said.

The number of towers to be built by Aboitiz and FTAP is still under discussion. These will be leasable not only to Globe but also to other mobile network operators like PLDT, Inc. and incoming player Mislatel consortium.

After inking the MoU with Globe, Aboitiz and FTAP are expected to sign a memorandum of agreement with the DICT to formalize the government’s assistance to the tower providers in securing regulatory permits for the rollout.

Aboitiz InfraCapital said its experience in putting up and operating several provincial utility networks handled by Aboitiz Power Corp. will be instrumental in its success in the passive telecommunications infrastructure industry.

“Our partnership with Globe represents a significant first step in our effort to ramp up the country’s connectivity through infrastructure,” Aboitiz InfraCapital Chief Operating Officer Cosette V. Canilao said in the statement.

FTAP’s experience as a member of the Frontier Tower Associates Group (FTA), an international tower operator and service provider, is likewise seen to help in “(facilitating) comprehensive and rapid development of infrastructure.”

Aboitiz InfraCapital and FTAP signed last month a cooperation agreement to develop, construct, operate and maintain a shareable tower network across the country.

Globe has already signed an MoU with ISOC Infrastructure, Inc. and Malaysia-based edotco Group Sdn. Bhd. to build 150 shareable cell sites in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon (Calabarzon).

“Tower sharing is a means to address the demand for better internet experience. Our collaboration with tower experts will enable us to fast track the construction of cell sites and towers in unserved and underserved areas as well as congested urban centers,” Globe President and Chief Executive Officer Ernest L. Cu said.

He previously said that tapping tower providers would help Globe save some of its capital expenditures to use for active telecommunications infrastructure instead.

The government aims to put up 50,000 shareable cell sites in the next seven to 10 years to improve the country’s telecommunications network by easing subscriber congestion per tower. — Denise A. Valdez