Filipino operator NOW Telecom, working together with affiliate and listed firm NOW Corp, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Aboitiz InfraCapital and Frontier Tower Associates to support the government’s common tower initiatives, The Philippine Star reports. The telco, which is trying to position itself to become a fourth major player in the Philippines, sees the move as a means to boost its plan to provide 5G mobile services countrywide. Under the MoU, the parties have agreed to talks on the leasing of build-to-suit sites, towers, and passive telecoms infrastructure and facilities that will be made available for the installation of NOW’s equipment to provide telecoms and internet services. Further, the signatories say they will work together on the utilisation of Aboitiz Group’s existing assets to support and strengthen NOW Telecom’s nationwide expansion.
Commenting on the project, NOW Telecom president Rodolfo Pantoja said: ‘We welcome the government’s initiative to foster tower sharing because it reduces the cost of deployment, while also accelerating the network rollout as ‘difficult or costly to acquire’ sites become feasible as the cost is shared among operators’. The official also pointed out: ‘We started our engagement with the Aboitiz Group for the provision of broadband connectivity to Union Bank of the Philippines. We are happy to explore more opportunities with Aboitiz and its partner, Frontier Tower Associates, in key areas such as shared infrastructure’.
The paper notes that Aboitiz InfraCapital and Frontier Tower previously teamed up for the development, construction, operation, and maintenance of a common tower network in the Philippines. They aim to provide access to passive wireless communications infrastructure for cellcos and ISPs such as NOW Telecom.