edotco Group makes Philippines its 8th market entry
By Digital News Asia September 23, 2019
- Spearheading shared infrastructure model to improve operational efficiencies in country
- Together with partner ISOC Infrastructure will invest US$100mil over next 3 to 5 years
Regional end-to-end integrated telecommunications infrastructure services company, edotco group sdn bhd (edotco), has increased its presence in Southeast Asia through its latest entry into the Philippines.
Growing from strength to strength since its inception in 2012, the group’s footprint now covers eight countries in South and Southeast Asia, namely Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This expansion is in line with edotco’s regional expansion strategy and vision to improve the telecommunications sector’s operational efficiencies in the region through shared infrastructure. Among its end-to-end solutions in the tower services sector range services such as tower leasing, co-locations, build-to-suit, energy, transmission and operations and maintenance.
Commenting on its expansion, edotco group chief executive officer Suresh Sidhu (pic) says, “We recognise that each market has a unique set of telecommunication requirements and challenges, and we continuously develop innovative and sustainable solutions to meet these connectivity needs. While the common tower sharing practice in the Philippines is in its early stages. Our entry into the country is set to support the nation’s digital ambitions and assist in bringing greater connectivity to 108 million Filipinos.”
Formalising its entry into the market, edotco has entered into an equity partnership with ISOC Infrastructure Inc, known as ‘ISOC edotco Towers, Inc’ which upon completion will become a subsidiary of edotco. Both partners aim to bring together their operational expertise and technological capabilities to enhance digital connectivity and advance the Filipino telecommunications infrastructure landscape.
The partnership builds on an existing relationship between both parties who in June entered into a tripartite agreement with Globe Telecom, which became the first telecommunications company in the Philippines to support the common tower direction of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
ISOC and edotco are the first two tower companies that have signed an MOU with DICT which targets to build at least 50,000 new common towers across the country in the next seven to ten years.
“We believe there is a great need for shared infrastructure. It has proven to help mobile network operators focus on their core business and service offerings by alleviating the cost pressure of building and maintaining towers,” says Suresh.
He points out that the right sharable infrastructure will be able to meet the current demands for affordable and reliable connectivity in the Philippines. “Partnering with local leading players is a key strategy for us to ensure we are meeting the country’s specific needs and we see this collaboration with ISOC as a catalyst to enable transformation within the Philippines telecommunications sector and lay the right foundation for the country’s digital readiness,” he says.
ISOC edotco Towers Inc aims to build 400 to 500 towers in the first year of operations, contributing towards the one thousand towers planned within the first phase of operations, which will span across 2 to 3 years. Both companies will invest a combined, up to US$100 million (RM410 million) in the Philippine market over the next three to five years.
The country’s telco infrastructure needs lags behind some of its neighbours as investments are solely made by the private sector. As a result Vietnam has 90,000 cellular towers compared to the Philippines’ 17,850 cell sites while recent data from TowerXchange showed that Pakistan has 34,300 while Bangladesh has 30,000 cellular towers.
In the six years of operations, edotco has deepened its commitment in the region by ensuring the right sharable infrastructure is constructed and managed to enable seamless connectivity. Edotco’s growing partnerships with corporations in the region is also a testament of its commitment to not only addressing the digital gaps but also towards creating the right environment for the region’s digital transformation aspirations.
The group operates and manages a regional portfolio of over 29,900 towers across core markets of Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan with 19,700 towers directly operated by edotco and a further 10,200 towers managed through a range of services provided.