The investment firm said that the Philippines is a rapidly growing market undergoing a “transition to a connected, digital nation”
Today it has been announced that global investment firm KKR is investing in Pinnacle Towers, a company aiming to build the leading independent telecom tower platform in the Philippines.
Pinnacle, the parent company of Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc (FTAP), specialises in build-to-suit telecom tower projects.
The coronavirus pandemic has seen mobile broadband use soar in the Philippines, a country that was already seeing a steady growth in connectivity demand, making tower infrastructure more valuable than ever.
“The telecommunications sector in the Philippines has grown rapidly in the past few years amid the increasing demand for connectivity,” said David Luboff, Partner and Head of Asia Pacific Infrastructure at KKR. “This has led to a resource imbalance and the need to expand existing infrastructure to allow operators to provide better service and coverage to their customers. Our investment in Pinnacle reiterates our commitment to addressing this need and supporting the Philippines’ transition to a connected, digital nation. We look forward to assisting the Pinnacle team to deliver the benefits of a more digitally enabled economy to the Filipino people, especially in growing regions such as Visayas and Mindanao.”
FTAP itself is one of the first independent tower companies in the Philippines to receive a provisional certificate to own, construct, manage, and operate one or more Passive Telecommunications Towers Infrastructures, after the government began allocating such licences in September to help boost national connectivity.
Filipino telcos have been under pressure to expand rapidly in recent months, with the government repeatedly calling on them to improve services across the nation. Recently, volatile President Rodrigo Duterte chastened the telcos, threatening them with closure if they did not change their ways.
Since then, the sector has been trying its best to accelerate its growth. Globe, for example, increased its own tower portfolio by around 900 back in September via numerous partnerships. Nonetheless there is still a long way to go – the government has said the country needs around 50,000 new telco tower sites in the coming years to reach the same level as its Southeast Asian neighbours.