NOW Telecom gets USTDA funding for 5G project

NOW Telecom Company Inc. has secured funding from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for the development of 5G technology as it seeks to improve connectivity services in the country.

The associate of listed NOW Corp., in a disclosure on Friday, said the grant would finance the wireless telephony network project using 5G technology to “advance critical digital infrastructure projects” in the country.

NOW is taking on this project, which is seen to support its mobile and fixed wireless network, with 5G technology firm Nokia of America and research innovator Nokia Bell Labs.

The initiative includes the design of a national 5G wireless network, design and planning of a nationwide broadband network and design and implementation of a pilot 5G network in Metro Manila.


 NOW said in October it was planning to spend as much as P7.8 billion in capital expenditures (Capex) over the next 10 years to establish additional 100 base stations and build up its digital infrastructure.

Mel Velarde, NOW Group chair and founder, said they were aiming to initially shell out P1.2 billion in the next two years to fund expansion. The listed company earlier shared it was in talks with investment banking groups that would help raise funds via debt or equity markets.

The additional stations are being eyed in Mega Manila to cover gaps in its services. It currently has 50 base stations, which are mostly in Metro Manila and the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) region. INQ