By EDD K. USMAN, SDN, Twitter @edd1819, Instagram @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
Telecommunications (telecoms) industry in the Philippines has received another shot in the arm.
The shot came in the wake of a partnership between a Malaysia- and Philippines-based telecoms organizations, edotco Group Sdn. Bhd and ISOC Infrastructures, Inc., respectively.
Edotco, a regional end-to-end integrated telecoms infrastructure services company, struck a joint venture with ISOC on September 10 in affirmation of their commitment to developing the Philippines’ telecoms infrastructure.
They dubbed their partnership “ISOC edotco Towers, Inc.”
With their partnership sealed the two organizations will harness their operational expertise and technological capabilities as they push forward the country’s telecoms infrastructure landscape. The will be promoting an effective tower sharing model and introducing the deployment of next generation tower solutions that will contribute to delivery of enhanced mobile network services.
Suresh Sidhu, CEO of edotco, cited the importance of shared infrastructure vis-a-vis costs.
“Infrastructure sharing has proven to help mobile network operators focus on their core business and service offerings by alleviating the cost pressure of building and maintaining towers. We believe that the right shareable infrastructure will be able to meet the current demands for affordable and reliable connectivity in the country.
“Partnering with local leading players is a key strategy for us to ensure we are meeting the country’s specific needs and we see this collaboration with ISOC as a catalyst to enable the transformation within the Philippines telecommunications sector and lay the right foundation for the country’s digital readiness.”
It can be recalled the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has been hastening the construction of telecoms towers, saying the Philippines need 50,000 cellular towers to serve more than 100 million Filipinos’ need for cheaper, reliable, and fast connectivity.
Smart Telecommunications and Globe Telecom, the country’s duopoly, have only 16,000 towers, a far cry from the 70,000 towers and 90,000 towers of Vietnam and Indonesia, respectively.
Improving and upgrading connectivity
With the advent of the country’s Third Major Player — Mislatel, later renamed Dito Telecommunity Corp. — the need for more cellular towers has become more urgent.
Add to that the DICT under Secretary Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan now eyeing a fourth and a fifth telecoms players.
Hopefully, a better telecoms service is about to come together as edotco and ISOC also signed recently separate agreements with Smart and Globe, a good sign for Filipinos who have been in dire need of much better telecoms services.
The tower sharing initiative of DICT, which started under then acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio, Jr. is a welcome development.
“The absence of infrastructure sharing has resulted in significant duplication, both in terms of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and asset development. However, we are very encouraged by the proposed tower sharing guidelines by the DICT showcasing their commitment to facilitate the tower sharing roll out in the country.
“With edotco’s best practices, regional benchmarks and ISOC’s local expertise, we are confident in this partnership’s ability to transform the local telecommunications infrastructure landscape,” Suresh pointed out.
In relation with this, ISOC Chairman Michael C. Cosiquien expressed confidence at the Malaysian firm’s capabilities.
“ISOC and edotco’s combined expertise in building infrastructure, particularly common cell towers, would help improve and upgrade the country’s telecoms infrastructure. Today’s signing lays the groundwork to link all the regions of our country and provide better mobile connectivity to our countrymen,” he said.
“As we build these common towers line by line and bolt by bolt, millions of Filipinos would be able to connect with their families both domestic and abroad. Through this enhanced digital connectivity, opportunities would be opened, gaps would be bridged, and relationships nourished as we help create a much stronger and globally competitive Philippines.”
Across its footprint, edotco has implemented a diverse range of solutions to bring reliable connectivity and deliver positive impact to the communities in its operating markets.
In the six years it has been in operations the company has been deepening its commitment in the region by ensuring the right shareable infrastructure is constructed and managed to enable seamless connectivity. edotco’s growing partnerships with local corporations is also a testament of its commitment to not only addressing the digital gaps but also towards creating the right environment for the nation’s digital transformation aspirations.
ISOC has the proven ability to navigate through challenging situations and deliver excellent results as evidenced by the construction of 10,000 classrooms in over 4,000 locations nationwide.
The DICT has been soliciting and pooling inputs for a long-term common tower policy of the government. (SDN/edotco)