By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
The move of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to implement a common tower policy will make the entry of the third telecommunications player easier.
Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV stressed this while question the move of the DICT.
While Trillanes acknowledged the benefits of the planned common tower policy, he said that the project will only be used to accommodate Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy and the so-called Davao Group.
“The DICT’s plan to implement a common tower policy for telcos is highly questionable. In a perfect world, this policy would have been sound,” Trillanes said.
“But with the prevailing business environment under (President) Duterte, wherein his Davao group has been monopolizing flagship projects, this move will grossly favor Dennis Uy’s 3rd telco as it would not be compelled anymore to build its own towers that it promised to do,” he alleged.
Uy’s Mislatel consortium, Trillanes added, “would just piggyback on Smart and Globe’s existing towers so it could operate right away.”
The DICT was reported to be in the final stages of preparing its common tower policy for telecommunication companies amid the impending rollout of Mislatel as the country’s third telco player.
The proposed policy would allow tower companies to participate in the telco sector and to build cell site towers that can be commonly leased by telco companies. A total of 50,000 cell towers will be built all over the country over the years.
DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr. said the move will improve telecommunication services and will rationalize the telecom industry.
The government is expected to earn an estimated $4 billion or about P200 billion from investments with the proposed policy.