Answering the call: How Unity aims to become a market leader in PH’s booming common tower market
Date Posted: September 09, 2021
Posted by: unity_developer
Unity Digital Infrastructure, Inc. (Unity), aspires to become a market leader in the local common tower industry, as it looks to aggressively support the government’s drive to roll-out 50,000 towers by 2030.
Unity is a joint venture between Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) and leading global private markets firm Partners Group, acting on behalf of its clients. Unity builds and operates telecommunication towers and supporting infrastructure across the country to complement efforts of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to enhance their connectivity and services.
“With Aboitiz and Partners Group’s track record, strong partnerships, nationwide presence, and expertise, we are more than ready to deploy thousands of towers in the next five years to ensure better connectivity for everyday Filipinos.” – Robin Sarmiento, Unity Chief Executive Officer
“We fully support the government in its target of rolling out 50,000 more towers in the next decade, and our goal is to be the market leader in this new industry that will pave the way for inclusive digital transformation,” he added.
Unity has already completed pilot tower sites in Cebu with three ready for installation, well ahead of schedule.
Through AIC, Unity leverages Aboitiz Group’s vast network of resources. The Group has over 100 years of operating experience in the Philippines, with a 37,000-strong workforce and operating business units all over the country. AIC has recently deployed over 300 small cell installations in Cebu and Davao for MNOs, while the Aboitiz Group operates its own internal communications tower infrastructure.
Partners Group is a global private markets firm with USD 119 billion in assets under management (as of June 30, 2021) and over 1,500 employees across 20 offices worldwide. Since 1996, Partners Group has invested over USD 150 billion in private equity, private debt, private real estate, and private infrastructure on behalf of its clients globally. Partners Group established its Manila office in 2016. Partners Group has made two notable investments in the Philippines: Soleq, a Southeast Asian renewable platform with power assets based in the Philippines, in 2013, and Straive (aka “SPi Global”), a business process outsourcing firm, in 2017, which it recently exited.
Both of Unity’s reputable sponsors – with their strong operational and financial capacity – are deeply committed to allocate more capital and resources to support Unity’s rapid growth.
“We are committed to work with the MNOs and have put together a highly qualified and experienced team to ensure that we can continue our strong performance thus far and deliver more sites for our customers,” Sarmiento shared.
Prior to joining Unity, Sarmiento was with Aboitiz Group for 11 years. He held several key positions such as Head of Strategy & Investments of AIC, Chief Financial Officer of AboitizLand, and led the Corporate Finance & Investments Group of Aboitiz Equity Ventures. Before joining Aboitiz, he was with American Golf Corporation and ATR Kim Eng Securities.
Unity’s Chief Operating Officer Anurag Chandra has over 32 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. A greenfield specialist, he was instrumental in setting up operations of companies in new territories. He also handled all operations, constructions, projects, and marketing for Eaton Towers in Kenya.
The rest of Unity’s growing team includes seasoned professionals from the telecoms industry in the Philippines and tower companies across the world.
The company is also engaging 150 accredited vendors and contractors to support its tower construction activities, helping generate jobs and spur local economies. It is currently building out its Network Operations Center, which is expected to be completed by November.
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Backed by Aboitiz InfraCapital and Partners Group, Unity builds and operates telecom towers and supporting infrastructure.