By Emmie V. Abadilla
Globe Telecom, Inc. is getting rid of its tower assets and incorporating a separate tower holding company as soon as it gets the nod of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) in line with its initiative to boost the country’s Internet connectivity.
Early this year, the telco announced it has initiated talks with independent third parties for its tower assets.
“As a major industry player we understand that this country needs to improve the internet experience of our customers,” explained Globe President and CEO Ernest L. Cu.
With the proposed tower holding company, any player can do an outright lease of the towers using standard, non-discriminatory commercial terms.
So far, the Philippines has one of the lowest tower densities in the world with under 20,000 towers serving 100 million people. Approximately 50,000 more towers should be built in order to serve current voice and data traffic that continuously grows exponentially every year.
Globe has been pushing for the establishment of tower companies similar to those found in other developed countries.
The lack of cellular towers has long been identified as the greatest barrier to seamless mobile internet connectivity with no viable short-term solution due to permitting issues.
“We remain open to collaborate with new and existing players in the interest of national development,” according to Cu.
“Putting up more towers based on global standards within strategic areas will make spectrum use more efficient,” he went on.
“We should work together and find all means to supplement the build for towers – either through telcos or tower companies. This in turn will bring us closer to first world internet connectivity.”
“This initiative will help accelerate the deployment of more cellular towers in the Philippines and foster competition,” the Globe president concluded.