Revised tower policy sets ‘proximity rule’


    The issuance of a more comprehensive common tower policy, which includes the so-called proximity rule meant to address redundancy and force telcos to share their network, has been pushed back to November, according to the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT).

    The DICT said the revised policy will allow telcos to build new shared towers within a certain distance.

    The DICT has initially targetted to release the rules end October.

    DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio said under the rules on accelerate rollout for common tower, no new telecom tower shall be built constructed within a proximity radius of 150 meters from an existing/planned telecom common tower in an urban area, except in high density areas like Makati, Ortigas and Bonifacio Global City or 1,000 meters of an existing planned telecom tower in a rural area.

    Using the latest technology such as fifth generation (5G) requires telecom structures to be within a proximity radius of less than 150 meters or 1,000 meters of each other.

    “The proximity rule shall not be applied to special telecom structures such as street lamps, electric poles, small cell sites, cell sites on wheels and camouflaged towers,” the DICT rules said.

    Twenty shared towers are expected to start operation this year. Some 200 to 300 towers located in key cities nationwide are also expected to start construction.

    The first shared cell tower owned by LCS Holdings, Inc. in partnership with UA Withya PCL broke ground in Caoayan, Ilocos Sur this month.

    LCS is among the 24 common tower providers which signed a memorandum of understanding with the DICT.

    By November this year, Rio said ISOC Infrastructure, Inc. and edotco will break ground on a tower in Cavite.

    Rio said the first common tower marks the beginning of a common tower program which targets the establishments of 50,000 towers within the next seven to 10 years.