Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. has confirmed that the regulator will meet with PLDT’s Smart Communications, Globe Telecom and recently anointed third player Mislatel Consortium this Friday (5 April) to identify suitable locations to fulfil the government’s common communication towers policy. Rio told reporters that the meeting would look to establish a proof of concept for the plan, and noted that to date, some 19 tower companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the DICT related to the common tower policy that seeks ‘to free telecommunications companies from costly capital expenditures in building communication towers’. The official added that under the plan, telcos will be able to select their preferred common tower provider to build their respective communication towers. It is understood that Globe has already identified 520 sites and Smart a further 340.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, last month the DICT said it will work with the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and domestic telcos to accelerate the rollout of a 50,000-strong common tower network over a seven-year period. Focusing on underdeveloped areas, the government body is keen to finalise the details of a policy it first ushered in last September to avoid duplication of effort.