Smart Communications is tapping six common tower companies in an effort to fast track the roll out of its mobile network. The move was in light of the PH government’s approval of a simplified permit process for cell towers.
The six tower companies will be tasked to build the pilot batch of almost 200 macro cell sites
These tower companies include Phil Tower Consortium, ISOC edotco Towers, Inc., Frontier Tower Associates Philippines, Inc., ALT Global Solutions, Inc., Communication and Renewable Energy Infrastructure (CREI) Phils., Inc., and Ison Tower Ltd. Inc. The telco is currently finalizing agreements with four more.
Additional common towers will improve Smart’s services, particularly for data, across the country. The agreements are also in support of the government’s common tower program aimed at improving internet speeds and coverage nationwide through the construction of new cell sites.
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To date, Smart’s mobile broadband service is available in 93% of the country’s municipalities and serves 95% of the population.
The PLDT Group’s network investments have totaled to some PHP 260 billion over the past five years from 2015-19. This 2020, their capital expenditures has backed up to about PHP 70 billion, enabling the network to continue growth in traffic and to bring new technologies such as LTE and 5G.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) earlier issued common tower guidelines in May. The Department also recently announced it was planning to revise common tower rules to address feasibility concerns brought up by some independent tower companies.