USTDA backs NOW Telecom’s 5G plans for the Philippines

5G in the philippines NOW
Image by Anton Medvedev | Bigstockphoto

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has committed to partner with Filipino operator NOW Telecom to facilitate the deployment of 5G technologies in the Philippines.

The deal is part of US Vice-President Kamala Harris’ recent visit to the Philippines with the goal of boosting the US-Philippine alliance and strengthening bilateral ties.

In a statement, the White House said their partnership with NOW Telecom will “provide faster and more reliable digital services, and increase broadband internet access for Filipinos countrywide.”

NOW Telecom’s ambitious 5G plan

In a stock filing in July, NOW Telecom announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SBA Towers Philippines, the Philippine unit of NASDAQ-listed SBA Communications Corp.

That agreement is part of NOW Telecom’s ambitious plans to roll out 5G and expand its network. The MoU will facilitate the leasing of build-to-suit sites, towers and passive telecoms infrastructure and facilities designed to deliver up to 20-Gbps speeds to enterprises and households using 5G.

“It is an integral policy in NOW Group’s roadmap to partner with trusted vendors that are part of the Clean Network. We look forward to working with SBA Towers Philippines whose expertise is providing support to operators like NOW to achieve our vision,” said NOW Telecom President and COO Engr. Rene L. Rosales in an article on their website.

Frequencies sorted

NOW Telecom has faced multiple challenges over the years to get to this point, especially as it sought to secure the necessary frequencies from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

In April, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) ordered the NTC to allow NOW Telecom to continue operating mobile telephone services and mobile and fixed wireless frequencies. NOW Telecom considers this a major win, as the telco claims it has been denied sufficient frequencies to operate – a problem that has plagued the telco for more than 16 years.

NOW Telecom is operated by NOW Corp., a family-owned company that is also looking to build a common digital infrastructure with its affiliated companies, NOW Telecom and Newsnet.

Related article: 5G in the Philippines is getting better every quarter

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