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The Philippines to Roll Out Country’s First Shared Telecom Tower

Since the novel coronavirus is driving the demand for Internet services to an all-time high. Slowly and gradually, it became the ‘New Normal‘ way of communicating, such as doing business with people remotely, online video consultations with patients, streaming videos, and virtual socialising for entertainment via video conferencing, etc. These activities put a strain on the global network infrastructure, resulting in a greater demand for reliable indoor mobile coverage in any residential, commercial or even mixed-use building.

Telecom regulators and operators experienced a rise in the network traffic and took several measures accordingly to support customers. With this, the DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) has advanced its shared Passive Telecommunications Tower Infrastructure (PTTI) Policy by activating the country’s first common telecom tower under the Philippines business conglomerate, which will be used by the Philippines’ leading telecommunications company and mobile operator to benefit from this DICT initiative, following the push for the growth and development of ITC’s (Independent Tower Companies).

“Through the Common Tower Policy, we hope to widen the base of common towers and, thus, speed up the deployment of the internet across the country by allowing and encouraging telcos and Internet service providers to share cell towers. The government and the private sector need to work closely together in upgrading ICT infrastructures, such as cell towers, not just to improve the quality of Internet connectivity, but also to address the increasing demand for data generated by the millions of online users in the new normal,” according to DICT Secretary during the inspection of the first activated shared telecom tower this week.

The business conglomerate’s CEO for ICT asserted that the tower activated by the telecommunication company was a Rapid Deployment Station (RDS) Telecom Tower in Valenzuela City offering a faster set-up structure that incorporates the tower body, fencing and foundation all in one. These structures can be deployed and dismantled in a matter of days, eliminating the need for extensive excavation and foundation construction.

He mentioned, “With the partnership, we managed to roll out the Philippines’ first RDS Common Telecom Tower. This structure spans 20m in height that can be constructed in strategic NCR regions to cater to the 3 MNOs. After intensive and careful analysis, this type of tower is most suitable to be deployed in this area where suitable land is scarce and shortage of elevated buildings.”

OpenGov Asia reported that to achieve universal internet access, the aims to have the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) expand access to satellite-based technologies as an alternate connection solution. It will exercise regulatory and administrative jurisdiction over ISPs and satellite policies, pursue policies to secure necessary orbital slots for PH satellites, and identify areas that are underserved and unserved by traditional broadband network operators and where the use of satellite-based internet can be maximised, to name a few.

The challenge for mobile operators is that 60 % of the world’s unconnected people live in rural areas, which necessitates significant time and investment to build networks in difficult environments. As national governments around the globe implement broadband targets and initiatives, mobile network operators have an opportunity to expand network coverage and provide affordable Internet services to unserved communities in both developing and developed countries. Reaching out to new markets allows them to add new subscribers in the short term while stimulating local economic growth, which will result in higher long-term returns on investment.

The telecom company’s Chief Administrative Officer emphasised that the government’s common tower policy allows us to tap reliable local partners and their existing telecommunications infrastructure assets to support our network rollout, rather than having to build everything from the ground up; this is done to ensure that the company delivers on its promise of faster and more affordable internet connectivity for the country.

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