US-based cell tower builder inks deal with Globe | Inquirer Business

US-based cell tower builder inks deal with Globe

/ 04:14 AM September 25, 2019

American Tower Corp. has joined the race to build new cell sites to help decongest the Philippines’ mobile networks as a new telco backed by China Telecom enters the market next year.

Its subsidiary, Transcend Towers Infrastructure (Philippines) Inc., signed its first memorandum of understanding with Globe Telecom, which made the announcement on Tuesday.

“There is a significant need to accelerate our infrastructure buildup for our customers to fully enjoy the benefit of a digital lifestyle,” Globe chief finance officer Rizza Maniego-Eala said in a statement.


She said the partnership would focus on addressing network gaps in North Luzon. The MOU initially covers 150 sites in the area, Globe said.


American Tower was established in 1995 and has grown to become one of the world’s largest independent builders and operators of cell towers. The company said its portfolio included about 171,000 sites, of which 41,000 were in the United States while the rest were overseas.

The company is based in Boston, United States. Its global operations include offices in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, South Africa and Uganda.

Globe had signed previous tower deals with a venture between Aboitiz InfraCapital Inc. and Frontier Tower Associates Philippines as well as with the tie-up between Malaysia’s edotco Group Sdn. Bhd. and Filipino company ISOC Infrastructure Inc.

The government’s common tower program aims to encourage independent tower companies to build as many as 50,000 cell sites in the coming years.

This will address Globe and rival PLDT Inc.’s congested mobile networks. Moreover, it will aid in the rollout of the country’s third mobile player, China Telecom-backed Dito Telecommunity, as the new cell sites will be shared by the telcos.

Around two dozen tower builders have expressed interest to participate in the common tower program, which is being implemented by the Department of Information and Communications Technology.


DICT chief Gregorio Honasan II said last month the department would also come up with a formal set of common tower guidelines. He said the draft would be released within 2019.

The program hopes to accelerate the construction of new telco towers and add to the country’s existing 18,000 sites, which are mainly controlled by PLDT and Globe. It was unclear, however, how the new rules will address the various local government permitting bottlenecks that play a big role in the slow rollout of new sites.

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TAGS: American Tower Corp., Business

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