Globe Telecom announced last Thursday that it has initiated discussions with independent third parties to establish a tower company to help speed up the build and deployment of cellular towers in the Philippines. Globe is looking at divesting all or part of its tower assets to independent tower companies as part of its network expansion and optimization plan. To date, Globe has over 8,000 cell towers nationwide.
Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said, “We have been allocating over 30 percent of our total revenues to capital expenditure for the past five years and this level will be sustained over a period of time. An independent tower company will be a win-win solution. It will monetize assets for capex use and help maintain our consistent dividend policy. In addition, this greatly helps President Duterte’s initiative to open the telco industry to new players.”
Cu continued: “The plan is for these towers to be open for lease to new and existing players. This effectively lessens the barriers that a new entrant has to endure because they will not have to spend the capex to build towers and instead focus on rolling out the necessary network equipment.” He also said it would reduce the time needed for a new player to rollout given the 25 permits and up to eight months required to build one cell tower. “Our move is also consistent with our position of being open to more competition in the telecommunications industry,” said Cu.
The tower companies generally want multiple operators to locate on these towers. This effectively reduces the cost for all locators and increases the return for the tower company. Globe will work with them in determining the appropriate locations for all prospective towers.