By Adrian M. Reodique
Nov. 21, 2016
Gil Genio, Chief Information & Technology Officer of Globe. Credit: Globe
Telecommunications providers in the Philippines are serving more customers per site as compared to other operators in Asia, despite the challenges in securing permits to establish new network infrastructures, said Globe Telecom.
In a press release, Globe's Chief Information & Technology Officer Gil Genio said user-per-site density in the country is about 2,244, based on estimates of 21,000 total cell sites against internet users of around 47.1 million.
This is higher than what the other operators in Asia have to handle.
In Vietnam, the user-per-site density is only 860 based on total number of cell sites of 55,000 against internet users of 47.3 million. Malaysia has a user-per-density of 937 based on total number of cell sites of 22,000 and 20.6 million internet users.
In Japan, the user-per-site density is 522 based on the total number of cell sites of 220,000 against 115 million internet users. Meanwhile, China has 1.18 million cell sites against 688 million internet users, resulting in a user-per-site density of 566.
In line, Genio said the Philippine government must prioritise the infrastructure build for the telco industry to improve the cell site per user density in the country.
According to Genio, Globe Telecom currently has a cell site backlog of around 3,000 sites because of difficulties in securing permits from various local government units (LGUs), homeowners associations, and other government agencies thus caused delay in the constructions of these facilities.
He noted telco companies need to secure at least 25 permits to put up one cell site. On top of that, it takes at least eight months for the permits to be completed. Genio explained the construction of additional cell sites is critical to improve the internet services in the country. Added sites will also provide more bandwidth for local internet users.
As such, Genio said the LGUs must simplify the acquisitions for cell sites and rationalise the permitting process including tower fees. He also underscored the importance of spectrum management and monitoring by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
"Spectrum allocation is a function of site density in order to serve customers effectively. Spectrum must not be left in the hands of private companies that do not use it to benefit consumers," he explained.