One cell tower currently serves 4,000 households — telco official
MANILA, Philippines — Four thousand households are forced to share one cell tower as the country lacks the ideal number of cell sites, a telecommunications official revealed Wednesday.
Lawyer Froilan Castelo, general counsel of the Globe group of companies, said the ideal ratio of households per cell tower is 100 to 200 households per cell tower.
However, the actual ratio is 4,000 households per cell tower as the country has only 20,000 cell towers and would need 50,000 more to compete with countries such as Vietnam.
“Today, we have 4,000 users per tower,” he said in a Senate hearing.
Castello also disclosed that about P15 million would be needed to build a cell tower in the country.
“For academic discussion, it costs about P15 million per site,” he said when asked by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on the cost of building a cell tower.
Drilon lamented the “grossly inadequate” number of cell towers in the country, considering that the country is under a new normal where transactions, such as work and education, are shifting online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“This exchange we have today is proof that we need more cell towers. It is already inefficient last year but today, it is more inefficient because there are more users,” the senator said.
For 2020, Globe has a budget of $1 billion for its infrastructure; however, with the suspension of permits to build cell towers under the Bayanihan Act 2, Castelo said the telco firm is “tripling its efforts” and “will need more.”
“We will need more. We are asking our stakeholders to provide us more budget considering the Bayanihan Act and the new normal,” he said.
Castelo said the telco firm is still coming up with its proposed budget for 2021.
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