With President Duterte cracking the whip at the nation’s telcos, Globe says these deals will greatly improve connectivity
The Philippines operators have come under the cosh from controversial president Rodrigo Duterte, who in July accused them of failing to deliver the connectivity the country deserves.
“Don’t make us wait 10 years for services other countries are enjoying. Go and look for capital. If you are not ready to improve, I might as well close all of you,” he said during his State of the Nation address.
Globe Telecom, one of the biggest operators in the country, said at the time that it had already earmarked $1.2 billion for network and capacity builds, while also lamenting that local governments and national agencies were hampering cell site deployment.
Nonetheless, the operator has seemingly been making significant progress with its rollout plans, expecting around 900 additional cell sites to be built in the near future as a variety of deals with tower builders come to fruition.
According to a statement, partnerships with tower companies Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc., ISOC-edotco, Transcend Towers Infrastructure (Philippines), CREI Philippines, and Frontier Towers & Associates are all reaching conclusion.
“These infrastructure partnerships demonstrate Globe’s commitment to improve the network quality experience of our customers. It is, likewise, highly supportive of the government’s initiative to increase ICT infrastructure in the country,” said Rizza Maniego-Eala, Globe’s CFO and chief risk officer in a statement.
The company said that it had received 190 permits from 85 local governments in August, which they attributed to the governments most recent push to ramp up cell site construction.
While this boost in tower availability is certainly a promising start for the Philippines, there remains much work to be done. The Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications Technology has previously estimated that the country will need around 50,000 additional towers to achieve national connectivity, around over double the amount currently deployed nationwide.