Chinese firm investing $4.4 billion in PHL telco tower building

Chinese firm China Energy Engineering Corp. (CEEC) is eyeing to invest around USD4.4 billion in building common cell towers in the Philippines.

This is after CEEC and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on January 18.

DICT will support CEEC, along with four other companies, in facilitating permits, right of way, and provide other government support for infrastructure should they secure a contract with any of the telco operators.

DICT signed the same Memorandum of Understanding Nigeria’s IHS Towers and Malaysia’s Edotco Group on January 17 and ISOC Infrastructures Inc. and Singapore’s ISON ECP Tower Pte. Ltd.  in December 2018.

“The number of towers that will be built by the CEEC will depend on the demand of telco operators. And of course, we will do it based on the requirement of the DICT and NTC (National Telecommunications Commission). According to DICT, there should be totally around 50,000 towers to be built. For our capability, we have no problem in building this total of 50,000 towers,” CEEC vice president Huang Fei said.

“This goes to show the confidence of the (tower provider) industry in the direction we are heading right now, which is to introduce more competition in the market,” DICT Acting Secretary Eliseo M. Rio said.  “We will welcome more parties in this venture as it will address the country’s backlog on telecommunication towers.”

He noted that the Philippines, with its less than 20,000 towers, has the smallest number of towers considering its land area and population compared to other countries in the neighboring region.