Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Common tower firm says infra-sharing key to expansion of telcos

Common tower firm EdgePoint Infrastructure and its local subsidiary EdgePoint Philippines said infrastructure sharing and digitizing operations are the strategies that local telcos should adopt in order their operations across the country.  

EdgePoint Infrastructure CEO and founder Suresh Sidhu

“The 2,934 towers that PLDT had sold us are open for sharing and they really want to make sure we’re prepared for sharing as well. We are fine to accommodate everyone. We treat everybody as a customer. It’s easier for them to come into the market, that’s one impact of having an independent tower market,” said EdgePoint Infrastructure CEO and founder Suresh Sidhu.  

Suresh also shared that a portion of EdgePoint Infrastructure’s investment allocation goes to improving the security and transparency of their passive assets, including the recently acquired PLDT telecom towers, via access control management system platforms and smart locks. 

This technology allows tower companies like EdgePoint Infrastructure to facilitate widespread access and trimming down the duration of traditional dispatch and retrieval of physical lock and keys, provide a singular point for key access requests, remotely track operational activities, and add an overall system of accountability and traceability.  

In Europe, the infrastructure sharing route used by tower companies is expected to reach a lull as the number of target assets available decrease, calling for new avenues of value creation and growth usually in the form of active assets like active radio access network (RAN) equipment, or expanding into access solutions or dedicated on-site coverage.  

Suresh provided reassurance that EdgePoint will be focused on only delivering its core business in the Philippines at the moment. In its other markets in the Asean region, EdgePoint also provides small cell technology for high-density urban areas, modernization solutions like edge computing and private wireless, and dedicated indoor coverage for buildings.  

“EdgePoint is ready to bring investment, innovation, best practices and expertise into the Philippines to address the nation’s connectivity needs. We are focused on driving the deployment of world class connectivity solutions in the telecommunications landscapes across our footprint and being the leading 5G enabler for our mobile network operators,” he added.  

Meanwhile, EdgePoint Philippines CEO Alexander Kiel says that the subsidiary will also prioritize creating job opportunities, introducing green technology, enforcing sustainable solutions. Since its recent entry in the Philippines, Kiel reported that they have onboarded more 100 workers and 1000 more indirectly.  

“The optimization of operation is in the first step geared towards giving better services to the MNOs and the customers, because that’s where we also come in. We are chosen because we have operational excellence…what we are trying to localize is our supply chain as much as we can,” he said.  

For EdgePoint, the endgame here in the Philippines is to not just provide shareable, fiber-integrated telecom structures, but small cells and in-building systems as well, in its goal to support the government’s bid to make the country a globally competitive digitally enabled economy.  

“Our role as nation building partners go beyond telecommunications infrastructure, as we commit to strengthening the economy by building a reliable supply chain of local vendors and suppliers. The recent pandemic has shown us the importance of self-sufficiency within the industry and we hope to create an ecosystem that can operate independently from other countries and markets,” Kiel concluded.


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