The local unit of EdgePoint Infrastructure is looking at possibly doubling its mobile network tower asset portfolio in the next five years, banking on the growing demand for data usage with the rise of 5G technology.
Suresh Sidhu, CEO of the independent tower company, told the Inquirer in a recent interview that based on history, they “probably could double in five years, just taking into account how many sites will be here.”
“If we can do it faster, we’ll gladly do it faster,” he added.
Edgepoint, through its local subsidiary Comworks Infratech Corp., entered the Philippine market following the purchase of PLDT Inc.’s 2,934 telecom towers back in April via a P35-billion deal.
So far, 2,232 tower sites have been transferred to Comworks. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of next year.
Along with this, Comworks is also set to construct 750 towers for PLDT in the next two to three years. A tower site is estimated to cost about $100,000 to $130,000 each.
Sidhu said the company’s focus remains on building towers, projecting the country would need about 2,000 to 4,000 new sites per year to address the growing demand.
“Our core business is infrastructure, building sites and colocating, making these sites easier for all of operators and potentially ISPs or any other players,” Comworks CEO Alexander Kiel told the Inquirer.
Sidhu disclosed they were also in talks with other operators for colocating partnerships, which can translate to annual savings of about 10 percent for the locators.
“We are in talks right now. We’re in an advanced stage,” he said, expressing confidence these deals will be closed by the end of the year.
The move to offer colocation services is in line with the government’s common tower policy, which supports the independent tower companies developing shared telco tower infrastructure to expand wireless network coverage and improve information and communication technology services across the country.
With shared infrastructure, Kiel said this could translate to efficient use of energy as well.
EdgePoint has 13,000 towers in its portfolio across Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
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