Now Telecom moved a step closer towards its goal of becoming the Philippines’ fourth major telecoms operator after forging tower sharing deals with Aboitiz InfraCapital and Frontier Tower Associates Management.

In a statement, the operator said it agreed to discuss and negotiate the leasing of build-to-suit sites, towers and passive telecoms infrastructure with the tower companies.

Aboitiz InfraCapital and Frontier Tower Associates Management were among 11 tower companies which signed MoUs with the Department of Information and Communications Technology as part of a policy involving common and shared passive infrastructure.

Rodolfo Pantoja, Now Telecom president, said it welcomes the government initiative to foster tower sharing because it reduces deployment costs, while accelerating network rollouts since “difficult or costly-to-acquire sites become feasible as the cost is shared among operators”.

The operator aims to deploy a standalone 5G network. In late October, it entered into a strategic partnership with SK Telecom covering technical planning, network design and 5G core network training. The South Korean operator also agreed to share its technical knowledge, and experience around home broadband and enterprise applications.

Earlier this year, market leader Globe Telecom also signed tower sharing agreements with Aboitiz InfraCapital and Frontier Tower Associates Management, adding to deals with ISOC Infrastructure and edotco.