ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Malaysia’s RT Telecom to invest as much as $1B in PHL common towers
Malaysia’s RT Telecom Sdn. Bhd. on Wednesday said it plans to invest as much as $1 billion in the Philippine telecommunications sector as part the common tower policy initiative of the Duterte administration.
The company seeks to build as much as 15,000 common towers in the country in the next five years, which could be leased by telecom companies.
During the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), RT Telecom expressed its keen intention to play the role of common tower provider.
“It probably would range from 800,000 to a billion US dollars to come in,” Subhash Devan, RT Telecom’s chief operating officer, told reporters in Quezon City.
RT is the sixth company to sign an MOU with DICT under the common tower initiative. The others are ISOC ECP Infrastructures Inc., Singapore’s ISON ECP Tower Pte. Ltd., Nigeria's IHS Towers, and Malaysia’s edotco Group.
The government is bent on implementing a common tower policy to reduce the cost of telecommunications services by freeing telcos from costly expenditures in building their own towers or cell sites.
The towers will be shared by incumbent telco operators—PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.—as well as the third telco player Mislatel Consortium.
“We’ve forecasted about 10 to 15,000 towers in the next five years. I hope that in the quicker approvals, we can achieve that number in the short period of time,” Devan said, noting that the company is open to teaming up with other parties for its Philippine operations.
“As a common tower operator, we are always open in terms of strategic partnership to enhance our portfolio,” he said.
“We are in communication with two of the existing guys here, but I can’t elaborate further,” he added.
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