Smart to lease common towers to be built by edotco-ISOC group

Smart Communications Inc. has inked an agreement to lease out common towers to be built by Malaysia-based edotco Group Sdn. Bhd. and its Philippine partner ISOC Infrastructure Inc.

In a statement, Smart said it has identified an initial 71 sites were edotco-ISOC will build cell towers that fit within the network roll-out plan of the company.

“Our agreement with the edotco-ISOC Group is a welcome development that will enable us to roll out our LTE, and, soon, our 5G base stations in a quicker and more cost-effective manner,” said PLDT and Smart Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“We will thus be able to bring more advanced mobile phone services and faster internet to people in more parts of the country more expeditiously,” he added.

Smart’s main competitor Globe Telecom Inc. in June already signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the same group for an initial 150 towers in Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.

Globe also last month inked a similar agreement with Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. and its partner Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc. (FTAP).

The government’s common tower initiative seeks to free telecommunications companies from costly capital expenditures in building communication towers.

According to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), the draft for the common tower policy is set to be completed in two months’ time.

Originally envisioned to be finalized by the second quarter of the year, the common tower policy seeks to free telcos from costly capital expenditures in building telecommunications towers.