MANILA — Aboitiz InfraCapital, the infrastructure business unit of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc, has signed an agreement with Frontier Tower Associates Philippines Inc. for the building and deployment of cell towers, a move that brings closer the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) common tower vision.
In a statement on Thursday, Aboitiz InfraCapital said the cooperation agreement it signed with FTAP on June 19 covers the development, construction, operation and maintenance of a network of new towers throughout the Philippines in its bid to vastly improve and expand the country’s cellular and telecommunications capabilities.
“We are happy to announce our partnership with FTAP. Throughout our discussions, it has become clear that our values and objectives are strongly aligned,” said Cosette Canilao, Aboitiz InfraCapital Chief Operating Officer.
The project will be able to utilize Aboitiz Group’s extensive experience in building and operating provincial utility networks such as Visayan Electric Co., Davao Light and Power Co., and Cotabato Light and Power Co.
“We truly believe that we will be able to deliver a common tower solution that is fast and effective, paving the way for greater quality and coverage in the telecommunications sector. Amid the country’s growth momentum and the government’s commitment to bolster further advancement, Aboitiz InfraCapital aims to build the right infrastructure that will advance business and communities,” said Canilao.
The FTAP is a member of the Frontier Tower Associates Group (FTA), an established international tower operator and service provider, specializing in rapidly building high-quality towers.
“We are pleased to join Aboitiz, a Group with a long-established tradition of integrity and excellence in Filipino infrastructure, to provide best-of-class common tower solutions that help wireless network operators to meet their goals of expanding the availability and quality of wireless voice and data services in the Philippines,” FTAP Chairman Patrick Tagney said.
“We have rolled out and operated thousands of towers in the ASEAN region; our operations team has also in the past rolled out more than 1,000 towers in the Philippines that form a core part of existing mobile phone networks,” he added.
Both companies have been conducting radio planning in a number of regions, developing tower designs specific to the Philippines, and building a landbank of site locations relevant for mobile phone companies in preparation for their launch.
Last February, Aboitiz InfraCapital signed a Memorandum of Understanding with DICT to build common towers that may be leased to any telco firm that needs additional facilities.
Aboitiz InfraCapital, through its sister company AboitizPower, will provide its expertise and resources for power requirements of the cellular towers. The DICT will provide assistance through facilitation of permits, right of way, and providing other government support for infrastructure.
The Philippines needs additional 50,000 cell towers to be competitive with its neighboring countries in providing quality communication services to the public, according to DICT. (PNA)