MANILA — Mislatel Consortium, winning bidder for the country’s third telco slot, is eyeing to install some 10,000 cell sites within the country in the next seven years.
This, as the company said it will establish partnerships with various stakeholders in the telco industry to provide consumers better quality of communication services.
“We already have quite a number of memorandums of agreement and understanding with our partners who will help us in our role,” Mislatel spokesperson Adel Tamano said in a television interview on Wednesday.
“We admit that we cannot do this without help from our partners, including the LGUs (local government units) and national government; with the proper policies, we can be able to have a good rollout and the benefit would be faster, better and cheaper Internet and telecom services,” he added.
The consortium is likewise open to share their cell tower facilities with its competitors PLDT and Globe Telecom to improve the delivery of Internet and other telco services in the country.
“Yung spirit of willing to partner with them is because we believe that kung mag-improve ang services natin at magdala tayo ng bagong technology instead of shrinking the revenues, lalaki po yun (if we improve our services and bring new technology instead of shrinking the revenues, this will increase),” Tamano said.
“For example, if they let us use their towers, that’s a revenue for them. We will be bringing in technology and when we also go about with our rollout perhaps if they let us use their towers, we will also let them use ours,” he added.
Mislatel’s initiative to build cell sites in the country would promote further competition in the industry, according to the company official.
The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) is currently crafting a policy that will allow the establishment of tower companies that will build and deploy cell sites and other facilities that will be leased to telco firms for the delivery of services to consumers.
Stakeholders in the industry have expressed their view that allowing the entry of more providers would promote competition and benefit consumers through improved communication services.
The current draft common tower policy guidelines, being backed by Presidential Adviser for Information and Communications Technology Ramon Jacinto, provide for only two companies to be accredited by the DICT to build and share their towers for the use of telcos.
DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said the guidelines might lead to “anti-competitive” and “monopolistic” behavior in the industry.
The Philippines currently has 16,000 cell sites against 67 million Internet users making it to have the lowest cell density in Asia.
The lack of cell towers has been identified as one of the barriers that result in slow and costly Internet services in the country.
Aerol John Pateña /PNA-northboundasia.com