Aboitiz Infra taps foreign partner for entry into common telco tower
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - April 25, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. is tapping a foreign technol­ogy partner to boost its bid to telecommunication companies for their common tower re­quirements.

“We’re going to have a technology partner that will help us. It’s a foreign partner,” Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. chief operating officer Cosette Ca­nilao said.

Canilao declined to dis­close the name of a potential partner as talks between them are ongoing, but said its entry may help strengthen the firm’s cyber defense capabilities.

The infrastructure business unit of the Aboitiz Group is part of the pool of common tower providers which telcos PLDT, Globe, and Mislatel can partner with for their tower roll out.

The Department of Infor­mation and Communications Technology wants the country to have 50,000 towers in seven to 10 years, or roughly 5,000 towers a year, under its com­mon tower initiative.

“We’re hoping we can get the big chunk of the require­ments of the telcos. It’s to our advantage getting them as our clients and we’re hoping that we’re offering something that they need as well. We can help them roll out so many towers,” Canilao said.

Canilao said the Aboitiz Group has existing poles in key urban cities like Cebu, Davao, Cotabo, and Subic, among others, that it can offer to the telcos.

Aboitiz InfraCapital, through its sister company AboitizPow­er, is offering to provide the ex­pertise to find efficient solutions for the power requirements of the cellular towers.

Canilao said talks are still ongoing between the com­pany and the three telcos for possible deals.

“We’re waiting for the tower policy to come out first. We’re just making sure we are within the parameters whatever is the policy the government is going to set for the common towers,” Canilao said.

Information and Commu­nications Technology Secre­tary Eliseo Rio earlier told The STAR that the policy, rules, and regulations on common and shared infrastructure in the public telecommunica­tions market would be final­ized this week, and is eyed for release by next week.

Mandating infrastructure sharing and the implemen­tation of a common tower policy are expected to greatly improve mobile telecommu­nication services, internet reliability and efficiency, and provide these at a reasonable cost to consumers.

Through a common tower and pole infrastructure policy in place, the pressure of network roll out and cost management from telco companies are ex­pected to be alleviated as they will be allowed to focus on improving customer service.

It will also promote the availability of a wide range of cost effective and competitive telco networks throughout the country by ensuring op­timum utilization of telecom resources.

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