P150-B Malaysian telco project gets BoI’s green lane approval

P150-B Malaysian telco project gets BoI’s green lane approval

THE PHILIPPINE Board of Investments (BoI) has endorsed Malaysia’s EDOTCO Towers, Inc.’s P150-billion telecommunication infrastructure project for green lane processing to fast-track the rollout of new technologies such as 5G mobile broadband networks.

In a statement, the agency said EDOTCO plans to roll out 25,000 common telecommunication towers that will be open for sharing by all mobile network operators.

“This strategic deployment spans urban and rural areas, addressing the needs of mobile network operators and aligning with government efforts to enhance mobile network access and internet penetration in underserved and unserved regions,” the BoI said.

In 2020, the Department of Information and Communications Technology released the guidelines for co-location and sharing of passive telecommunication towers.

The common tower policy seeks to widen the coverage and base of telecommunication providers to reach unserved and underserved areas.

A report by the EDOTCO Group and consultancy firm Roland Berger in 2022 projected the construction of as many as 30,500 shared towers in the Philippines by 2025, for a 10% penetration.

The BoI said the project would also form the basis for future mobile broadband networks in the country.

“The project will play a huge role in introducing new technologies such as 5G mobile broadband networks and large-scale Internet of Things applications through its shared infrastructure offered to service providers and government agencies with open access and on a nondiscriminatory basis,” it added.

Executive Order No. 18 created green lanes to expedite, streamline and automate processes for strategic investments.

It seeks to address barriers such as red tape, delays and additional requirements that hamper foreign direct investments.

“EDOTCO’s project will strengthen the telecommunication infrastructure in the country,” the BoI said. “It will attract more investors as connectivity is critical in supporting business operations.”

The Malaysian company is said to have plans to introduce green energy by tapping nonconventional energy resources such as photovoltaic systems, wind, biomass, fuel cells, energy storage systems and hybrid solutions.

“Energy costs are substantially reduced to the advantage of the mobile network operator, and this reduced consumption (on an aggregated basis) places less demand on the national grid,” the BoI said.

The project is also expected to boost the Philippine economy by creating jobs and facilitating the transfer of knowledge from multinational companies.

“Employment will not only come from the construction of infrastructure but from operations and maintenance as well,” it added.

Aside from EDOTCO, the BoI has endorsed other telecommunication infrastructure projects such as the P50-billion tower infrastructure project of Edgepoint Tower, Inc. in October and the P52-billion project of PhilTower Consortium, Inc.

EDOTCO is a unit of Malaysia’s EDOTCO Group Sdn. Bhd., which has more than 58,000 towers across nine countries.

Its business includes the construction of passive telecommunication towers and lease of towers to mobile network operators. — Justine Irish D. Tabile