The Philippines' Department of ICT will this week add three new partners to its common tower provider program.
The department announced that it is scheduled to sign agreements with Nigeria's IHS Towers and Malaysia's Edotco group today, and with China Energy Engineering Group tomorrow. This will bring the total number of partners in the program up to five.
As part of the agreements, the companies will be given support in terms of facilitating permits, securing right of way and other incentives if they secure a contract to supply towers to any of the market's operators.
This includes new market entrant Mislatel, the consortium between China Telecom and businesses owned by local tycoon Dennis Uy.
The first agreements with tower companies ISOC Infrastructure and Singapore's ISON ECP Tower were signed in December.
“This goes to show the confidence of the [tower provider] industry in the direction we are heading right now, which is to introduce more competition in the market,” DICT acting secretary Eliseo M. Rio said.
“We will welcome more parties in this venture as it will address the country’s backlog on telecommunication towers,” he said, noting that with less than 20,000 towers, the Philippines has the least amount of mobile infrastructure compared to its neighbors.