Philippines mobile operator Globe Telecom moved to divest its tower assets, informing the Philippine Stock Exchange it began the process of incorporating a separate holding company.

The operator said in a statement that once it receives approval from the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission, the divestment of all or part of its tower assets through a separate company will be operational.

In February Globe initiated discussions with third parties about setting up a tower company to speed deployment of cellular towers across the country. At the time, the company said it was looking at divesting all or part of its tower assets, totalling more than 8,000 sites nationwide, to an independent tower company as part of its network expansion and optimisation plan.

Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe, said it pushed to establish tower companies similar to those found in other developed countries: “This initiative will help accelerate the deployment of more cellular towers in the Philippines and foster competition,” he added.

With the proposed holding company, the company said any player can lease space in the towers using standard, non-discriminatory commercial terms.

“Putting up more towers based on global standards within strategic areas will make spectrum use more efficient. We should work together and find all means to supplement the build for towers, either through telcos or tower companies,” Cu said, adding it remains open to collaboration with new and existing players in the interest of national development.

In early May he suggested Globe would consider cooperating with rival PLDT or a planned third operator in the Philippines to create an independent tower company to reduce its rising capex: a proposal rejected by rival PLDT, parent company of Smart Communications.