Nokia’s Bell Labs Consulting will create a 5G network design and proof of concept (POC) for NOW Telecom to establish the first 5G Standalone (SA) network in the Philippines.

As part of the agreement, Nokia will design and implement a pilot 5G network at multiple sites in Metro Manila.

Stefan Wilhelm, head of Bell Labs Consulting at Nokia said: “We are excited that our expertise will make a critical contribution to the development of digital infrastructure in the country.

“The study by our Bell Labs Consulting will provide NOW Telecom with the required analysis, designs and plans for the phased implementation of the 5G SA network.”

The initiative is facilitated by the grant received by NOW Telecom from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to support the development of 5G mobile and fixed wireless networks in the country.

While the consulting work will start next month, the actual POC will be carried out in July.

The planning and design will help NOW Telecom to acquire the investment needed to deploy “differentiated services” in the country.

“A robust and reliable 5G network will play a crucial role in promoting social and financial mobility and spurring economic growth of the country,” said Mel Velasco Velarde, chairman and CEO of NOW Telecom.

“Nokia’s proven expertise and the collaboration with USTDA will help us provide a world-class 5G network experience to our people.”

The grant is provided by USTDA to NOW Telecom to develop 5G mobile and fixed wireless networks in the country.