Smart taps 6 common tower firms to build 200 cell sites

News Sourced

Mobile network provider Smart Communications (Smart) on Wednesday announced it has signed agreements with six common tower companies as part of its network expansion program for its 4G and 5G services.

In a statement, Smart said the agreement involves building a pilot batch of almost 200 “macro cell sites” with more agreements being finalized with four more tower companies.

“With the approval of the simplified permit process for common towers, Smart, will be able to speed up its mobile network rollout by tapping common tower companies,” it said.

The agreements were made with Phil Tower Consortium, ISOC Edotco Towers, Inc., Frontier Tower Associates Philippine, Inc., ALT Global Solutions, Inc., Communication and Renewable Energy Infrastructure Philippines, Inc., and Ison Tower Ltd., Inc.

Aside from improving its network, it said the agreements were also made in support of the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) common tower program and the joint memorandum circular signed by several government agencies in late July that streamlined the construction of common towers.

“The agreements are also in support of the government’s common tower program aimed at improving internet speeds and coverage nationwide through the construction of new cell sites,” Smart said.

Currently, its mobile broadband service is available in 93 percent of the country’s municipalities and serves 95 percent of the country’s population, it added.

The PLDT Group, Smart’s parent company, has invested PHP260 billion from 2015 to 2019 to expand Smart’s mobile network and bring new technologies such as 4G and 5G, it said.

“Amid the regained momentum of its network rollout efforts following the easing of lockdown restrictions, PLDT has leveled up its target capital expenditures for 2020 back up to about PHP70 billion,” Smart said.

Recently, the DICT announced it is planning to revise its common tower guidelines, initially issued in May, to address feasibility concerns brought up by some independent tower companies. PNA.GOV.PH