New tower company still an option for Globe

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Globe Telecom Inc. is still in talks with third parties for the possible set up of a tower company, even as the government has said telcos would not be allowed to build towers or own a stake in any tower firm under a common tower policy it plans to implement.

Globe president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu told reporters the telco would continue to hold discussions with third parties such as advisers and investment banks to find partners for the creation of a tower company.

“We’ve started talking to advisers, investment banks who will help us find the right partners. But over time, there’s been numerous companies that have approached us in the last two to three years. It’s a very hot space right now. The towers are in huge demand of investors so, we figured it’s a perfect time to monetize those investments and plow them back to the network once again,” he said.

As Globe is interested in the creation of a tower company, Cu said the telco is looking at different models on how it could be done.

“There’s really no timeline (on when the tower company would be created). We want to do it right,” he said.

Cu said Globe is in discussions with third parties even as the government is planning to issue rules for the implementation of a common tower policy.

“There’s no rule. We’ll have to see what it says and we’ll comment when it gets there,” Cu said.

Presidential adviser on economic affairs and information technology communications Ramon Jacinto said the government would issue the rules on the common tower policy before the end of March.

While the government has yet to issue the rules on the common tower policy, Jacinto said telcos will not be allowed to build their own cell towers or own a stake in any tower company.

He said allowing telcos to own equity in a tower company would give them undue advantage over smaller players.

To address the country’s lack of cell towers, which is a constraint in providing mobile internet connectivity, the government is looking at the common tower policy as a solution wherein private firms or tower companies would build cell sites to be leased to telcos.

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