Alliance Towers open to foreign funders

COMMUNICATIONS-infrastructure developer ALLIANCE Towers Corp. (ATC) on Friday said it welcomes foreign investors to the company in building mobile phone towers in the country.

“As a capital-intensive industry, we’re fortunate enough to roll out our current number of towers. We’re entertaining joint ventures with foreign companies and considering that position because the capital is high,” ATC Chairman and CEO Sherwin G. Hing told reporters during a news briefing in Bonifacio Global City.

A statement from the company said it “is going full speed ahead in building towers that would improve connectivity nationwide” in an aim “to support the Philippines’s digital transformation and the telecommunications industry efforts to address the growing demand for fast, stable and reliable internet connectivity through tower services.”

ATC President and COO Alvin Tolentino said building a cellular tower will cost from a low of P8 million to a high of P12 million.

Formerly known as ALT Global Solutions Inc., the firm has built over 40 towers at the height of lockdown measures against the pandemic. The company said it plans to build 500 towers a year.

“This would greatly help improve digital connectivity, considering that the Philippines needs to build 50,000 towers to meet its current shortfall,” according to a statement by the company.

Tolentino said the pandemic has seen the rapid rise in demand for fast and reliable internet connectivity to enable to pursue work and studies.

“The recent pandemic has brought about the urgent need for fast and reliable internet connectivity to enable digital transformation and the adaptation of the country to new digital landscapes. Unfortunately, there is a wide gap between the number of subscribers and the cell sites here in the Philippines to provide the bandwidth and connectivity that the Filipinos demand,” Tolentino said.

“As the country adapts to the rapidly changing times, ATC aims to be a major player in the common tower industry, helping its Telco partners provide better service and the country progress towards a more connected nation. Our plans in the pipeline involve initiatives that will help stabilize and expedite programs to address consumer demands for improved digital connectivity across the Philippines,” he added.

Tolentino said the increased capacity requirements of users, the 4G expansion and 5G-rollout and the increased number of telco players are the growth drivers for the towers. Moreover, high demand for towers is being driven by the increased capacity requirements of users, the 4G expansion and 5G rollout and the increased number of telecommunications players.

Hing said the government’s common tower policy allows telco companies to share towers, thereby bringing down costs, which is another major growth driver. Due to these demands and the need to provide good connectivity to even to unserved and underserved areas, the government has introduced reforms over the last two decades which resulted in the dramatically changed nature of telecommunications in the Philippines and the establishment of shared telecom infrastructure.

“We acknowledge our role in the success of the country’s digital transformation and advancement. This is why we have selected a management team who has a proven track record in the tech and telecommunications industry to lead our programs and initiatives in building digital infrastructures. Furthermore, we also ensure that our experts are armed with the right extensive information and knowledge to develop our towers and we have also developed standard parameters to ensure that our sites, services and operations are best-in-class,” Hing added.

“The nation’s internet connectivity is dependent on the strong collaboration of the government, the digital infrastructure industry and the telecommunications sector. As we join forces to continue progressing the country’s digital status, ATC will remain steadfast in providing digital infrastructures and increasing the numbers of telecom towers that will serve as an avenue to reach even those in rural areas,” Tolentino said.