ISOC approaches DICT to build PHP100bn common tower network in the Philippines

26 Jul 2018

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in the Philippines has revealed that local company ISOC Infrastructures, a unit of ISOC Holdings, has submitted an unsolicited proposal to build a network of common towers for the country’s telecommunications companies at a cost of PHP100 billion (USD1.88 billion). DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. said ISOC Infrastructures proposes to build 25,000 towers nationwide over a period of seven years, in support of the government’s drive to have common towers available for telcos to facilitate the entry of a third major player in an industry that is dominated by PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom. It is understood that the construction of the 25,000 cell towers would be farmed out to third-party firms with the structures eventually leased back to telcos, thus freeing the would-be third telco from the onerous cost of building its own network infrastructure. The acting secretary has said that DICT would need to consult its legal department for a thorough review, but that it will study ISOC’s proposal and also consider opening it up for other firms to challenge the bid. With the terms of reference (TOR) for the selection of the third telco now expected to be completed by end-September/early-October, Rio suggested that the new target date for it to launch is likely to be sometime after mid-2019.