ISOC edotco Towers Limited, a joint venture between Malaysia’s edotco Group and Philippines’ ISOC Infrastructure, is looking to construct 70 common towers in the province of Cavite.
“There will be 70 common towers to be rolled out in Cavite, one tower per location. The towers will be a combination of some ground-based towers and some rooftop types as well,” William Walters, country manager at ISOC-edotco Towers Limited, said during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the firm’s first common tower in Bacoor.
Walters added that they will try to have the construction of 70 towers done by Q2 (second quarter) next year so there will be more towers to be felt by people before the end of 2020.
Cavite was chosen to be the area where the construction of the company’s first common towers will commence. “We started in Cavite because our customers are looking at that area. They gave us certain number of sites. In this case, it is determined by the requirements given by Globe,” said Walters.
The joint venture agreed to invest up to US$100-million for the first phase of development. The current initial commitment would be about a total of US$10-million to US$30-million. ISOC edotco plans to build 400 to 500 towers within the first year of operations, contributing towards the 1,000 towers planned within the first phase of operations, which will span from two to three years.
Asked about challenges encountered in the construction of common towers, Walters said “the construction is not a problem. Usually the biggest challenges are finding suitable locations and getting the consent of the barangays. However, with the initiative of the DICT, the mindset is changing. I think it is relatively easy to find the locations. We will work with LGUs and other agencies of the government.”
Designed to reduce the country’s subscriber-to-tower ratio which currently stands at over 7,000 subscribers per tower, the construction of shared infrastructure will help Filipino mobile users to lessen coverage issues due to network congestion.
Michael Cosiquien, ISOC Infrastructure chairman, said a new era of connectivity is ushering in the Philippines. “Beyond setting the stage for next generation networks, we are also linking together all corners of the nation, overcoming barriers to communication while strengthening relationships and improving people’s lives in meaningful ways,” he said.
To boost the construction of common towers, the ISOC edotco Towers is in talks with other telco firms to build common towers in various locations in the country. Apart from this, the DICT is coming out with a more comprehensive common tower policy to help new investors.