Globe Telecom in the Philippines has recently teamed up with Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. Globe, perhaps in an effort to stave off upcoming competition from China, is building cell sites on 14 Shell service stations throughout the Philippines. Will Globe’s gas-up gambit with Philippines Shell stations fuel the telecom’s efforts to battle telecom rivals from China?
Globe is pissed over “Common Tower” Policy
While Globe is spending P210 million to build cell sites in 14 Shell service stations nationwide, it’s pissed off. The telecom giant is opposing the government’s proposed “common tower” policy that will prohibit telecommunication companies from building their own exclusive cellular towers.
The Department of Information and Communication Technology, DICT, has implemented a “common tower” policy to speed up the deployment of cell sites nationwide.
No longer will companies be allowed to build their own towers. Telecommunication outfits will have to lease space from a tower company instead.
DICT contends that the tower companies will focus on constructing towers to cover the entire Philippines. This policy, says DICT, will free up the telecom operators.
Philippines Needs More Cellular Towers
The Philippine needs at least 50,000 cellular towers to have the proper coverage and provide adequate service. The country only has around 16,000 cellular towers, covering only 8,000 locations.
The government estimated that building a tower would cost an average of $100,000 per tower and would need $50 billion to roll out 50,000 towers nationwide.
Globe, however, is opposed to the “common tower” policy and wants to continue to build their own towers, which they claim they will share.
25 Permits Needed to Build a Cell Tower
Permitting challenges hindered Globe’s efforts to expand its network infrastructure. Globe claims that least 25 permits are needed to put up one cell site.
The permitting process takes at least eight months to complete, barring major concerns from various agencies, including local government units, homeowners associations among others.
That’s one reason Globe teamed up with Shell. The two companies have targeted Shell stations, which are located along major thoroughfares throughout the Philippines. The Shell sites will improve mobile phone service in those areas.[i]
[i] Darwin G. Amojelar (2018, January 22) “Globe opposes proposed ‘common tower’ policy” Retrieved from The Manila Standard. http://manilastandard.net/business/power-technology/256898/globe-opposes-proposed-common-tower-policy.html