NOW taps Nokia for 5G design in the Philippines

Filipino operator NOW Telecom has selected Nokia’s Bell Labs Consulting to design a nationwide 5G Standalone (SA) network, and to design and plan a national broadband network.

NOW Telecom was recently awarded a grant 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 POC will be carried out in July this year.

As part of the agreement, Nokia will also design and implement a pilot 5G network at multiple sites in Metro Manila. The network planning and design by Nokia will help NOW Telecom attract investment to deploy the country’s first 5G Standalone (SA) network and provide differentiated services.

Nokia’s planning and design support – as well as its automation software to oversee network management – will allow NOW Telecom to address growing demand for reliable and secure digital services from its customers. The operator is planning to offer Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) 5G services to connect the unconnected and provide superior network speed and latency improvement.

Enoh T. Ebong, Director of USTDA, said: “This grant demonstrates USTDA’s ongoing commitment to support the development of quality digital infrastructure and increasing access to affordable connectivity in the Philippines. At the same time, this project will expand opportunities for U.S. companies and trusted technology partners to deliver next-generation network solutions in one of the region’s fastest-growing telecommunications markets.”

Mel Velasco Velarde, Chairman and CEO of NOW Telecom, said: “A robust and reliable 5G network will play a crucial role in promoting social and financial mobility and spurring economic growth of the country. Nokia’s proven expertise and the collaboration with USTDA will help us provide a world-class 5G network experience to our people.”