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Senator Poe urges government to act cohesively on telco duopoly

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Senator Grace Poe called on the government to put their acts together on the clashing issue about building common telecommunication towers.

In a statement sent to the media, Poe, who is the Chair of  Senate Public Services Committee said, “We urge the government bodies on board to get their acts together. There should only be one voice on this matter, otherwise, it would send confusion to the telcos and the public.”

This statement was made after Department of Information and Communication Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio. ripped to shreds the draft common tower policy of presidential adviser Ramon “RJ” Jacinto.

The DICT Chief said that Jacinto’s proposal to ban telco service providers from building their own cell cites and limit common tower builders to just two operators is not advisable considering the need for our country to improve signal quality and reliability.

Poe said that while she was made to believe that the draft Memorandum Circular on the common tower was duly heard, “the strong opposition and the number of stakeholders against it should prompt the proponents to pause and listen to ensure it would be free from legal hurdles.

Poe agreed with DICT Sec. Rio that the country needed as much towers available to improve signal quality and reliability.

“Restricting the it to two tower companies could limit the number of towers that may be built during the period, which would be counterproductive to the government’s aim of improving telecommunications infrastructure in the country. To limit it to two tower companies could also infringe on the right of the telcos with congressional franchises to build their own infrastructure”, Poe added.

Meanwhile, DICT Chief in his Official Facebook Account thoroughly explained his stand that is counter to Presidential adviser RJ Jacinto.

Rio narrated, “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 region.

Boasting 331,210 square kilometers and population of around 93M, Vietnam is home to global mobile network operator Viettel, as well as MobiFone, Vinaphone, Vietnamobile and Gtel. With around 70,000 towers nationwide, there are more than 20 independent common tower providers (towercos) scattered around the country, mostly small, “mom and pop” shops, but strictly following the standards set by their client telcos and compliant to the safety and environmental standards of the government.

Indonesia has three major telecommunication network and services providers (MNOs) – Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom), XL Axiata and Indosat. The country has a population that numbers 250 million, about 308.2 million mobile phones are in use in Indonesia, implying that some people use two or more mobile phones.  Indonesia has over 50 towercos which own two thirds of the country’s 93, 549 towers, the rest being owned by the MNOs.”

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