2020 to mark a new landscape in telco


    With government support to build more towers and the implementation of the mobile number portability law that would help level the playing field in the telecommunication industry, new player Dito Telecommunity Corp. is expected to achieve its target internet speed and network coverage in its first year of operation in 2020.

    Eliseo Rio, undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), said the agency is targeting to build 3,000 shared towers nationwide this year, which is more than the network requirement of DITO during its first year of operation.

    DITO would need 2,000 towers to fulfill its mandate of covering 37 percent of the population in the first year operation.

    DITO, a consortium of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and China Telecom Corp., will invest P279 billion over a five-year period with a commitment to gradually increase internet coverage to 84 percent of the population. In the first year of operation, it is required to deliver a minimum internet speed of 27 megabits per second (mbps) and a maximum of 50 mbps.

    Last December, tower firm ISOC edotco Towers Ltd broke ground on its first common tower in Cavite and plans to build up to 1,000 towers in a span of two to three years.

    LCS Holdings Inc. has built its first shared tower in Ilocos Sur last October.

    Rio expects five more firms to seal business agreements with local telcos to build more towers.

    The DICT targets to increase the towers to 50,000 in seven years as it aims to reduce the telcos’ operating cost and further improve mobile services.

    Meanwhile, competition on mobile services will intensify further with the implementation of Republic Act 11202 or the Mobile Number Portability Act (the MNP Act) which allows subscribers to shift to other networks without changing their phone numbers.

    The law also removes the interconnection fee or charge on domestic calls and texts which will reduce the cost of mobile services.

    With this, mobile operators Globe Telecom, Smart Communications and DITO have joined forces to put up a new company to enable number porting services.

    Syniverse, the world’s most connected company, was chosen by the Philippine mobile operators through a rigorous technical and commercial evaluation process, to be the mobile number portability service provider (MNPSP).

    The company will bring in the technical infrastructure to fulfill its primary function as clearing house for the telcos and ensuring smooth implementation of number porting services.

    Under the implementing rules and regulations of the MNP Act, the mobile operators will equally share the capital expenditure for the software, hardware and other facilities required by the MNPSP. However, the sharing of operating and maintenance costs shall be agreed upon by the mobile operators and the MNPSP.