Solon says shared towers will boost mobile Internet speed in PH

A lawmaker is counting on “shared wireless communications towers” to help boost mobile Internet connectivity all over the country.

“The immediate beneficiary of new common towers will of course be the third telecommunications player that the government is bringing in precisely to drive competition in the supply of superior Internet services,” Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said in a statement on Saturday, Nov. 3

Campos made the statement ahead of the Nov. 7 opening of bids for the would-be third player that will be awarded all the licenses and radio frequency bands needed to compete with PLDT and Globe Telecom Inc. – the country’s two dominant Internet service providers.

“We support every initiative that will help quickly improve public access to faster Internet connection speeds at a lower price,” Campos said.

“Assuming we have independent private firms putting up new towers for collective use, the third player should be able to quickly scale up service coverage, since it can opt to just lease the new structures,” Campos said.

The third player would spend less to build fewer towers on its own, thus enabling it to spend more for faster network expansion, according to Campos.

“As a business model, tower sharing is nothing new. In fact, one of the Fortune 500 firms is American Tower Corp., which owns and operates over 170,000 shared wireless and broadcast communications sites in 13 countries,” Campos said.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has already received an unsolicited proposal from a private firm that plans to construct wireless towers for shared use.

The proposal was submitted by ISOS Infrastructures a firm chaired by Michael Cosiquien, one of the founders of Philippine Stock Exchange-listed Megawide Construction Corp.

ISOS Infra has offered to invest up to P100 billion over the next seven years to build 25,000 towers nationwide that could be leased by all telecommunications firms.

Even the government might end up spending less to install the national broadband network once the shared towers are in place, Campos said.