To ramp up the roll-out of common towers in the country, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has issued certificates of registration to 23 provisional Independent Tower Companies (ITCs), also known as common tower providers.
The certificates of registration were issued to tower companies with prior memorandum of agreement or understanding with the DICT. The provisional certificate serves as the provisional authority to own, construct, manage, and operate one or more common towers, formally known as Passive Telecommunications Towers Infrastructures.
At least three of the tower companies that were given permits are Chinese-owned firms despite current concerns on national security. Senators have called for an investigation on the deal between the Department of National Defense and Dito Telecommunity allowing the new telco to build cell towers inside the country’s military camps.
“Due to the ongoing health crisis, provisional certificates of registrations were granted to ITCs that already have existing MOUs/MOAs with DICT. This should provide them with ample time to complete all the requirements for full ITC registration and permitting within the time period. Likewise, this should also provide enough time for ITCs to start their roll-out,” DICT secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II said in a statement on Tuesday, Sept. 15.
The 24 ITCs (now 23, after consolidation of two companies) with existing MOUs/MOAs are deemed registered under DICT Department Circular 008 or the Policy Guidelines on the Co-Location and Sharing of Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure for Macro Cell Sites provided that the ITCs promptly file their complete documentary requirements and pay the necessary processing fees for full registration as an ITC.
The 23 ITCs with Provisional ITC Certificates of Registration are the following:
- Aboitiz Infracapital
- ACODA Towers SDN BHD
- Transcend Towers Infrastructure (Philippines)
- China Construction First Group Corp. and Wingan Construction and Development Corporation
- China Construction Yangtze River
- China Energy Equipment Co.,
- CREI Management Services
- Desarrollos Terrestres
- EEI Corporation
- Frontier Tower Associates Philippines
- IHS Holding Limited
- ISOC EDOTCO Towers
- ISON Tower
- JS Cruz Construction and Development
- MGS Construction
- Phil-Tower Consortium
- RT Telecom
- Shinheung Telecom
- Tamoin Industrial Services
- Tiger Infrastructure
- UA Withya Public Company
The provisional certificate is valid until December 31, 2020.
“We need these tower companies to continue mobilizing and building out towers now, that’s why we granted them this provisional certificate to ease their transition under the new circular,” Honasan said. “We have to be diligent to ensure capacity of certified ITCs and we need to balance diligence with the urgency to improve our current ICT infrastructure,” he added.
Other tower companies interested in registering with the DICT may now do so expediently and online through DICT’s ITC Registration Portal. The system is DICT’s response to digitalizing the application procedure for registration of ITCs engaged in the business of establishing or operating one or more common towers.
“This new registration system is a big step towards our goal of reducing procedural delays in the permitting of ITCs. This will also allow the continuance of our services amid the community quarantine. With the application now done online, we hope to encourage more ITCs to register with the DICT and avail of the advantages of the whole common tower initiative,” Honasan said.