NOW to set up 5G network with help from USTDA

NOW Telecom Company Inc. is set to launch its 5G pilot network in several areas in Metro Manila through a funding and technical assistance deal with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

In a disclosure on Friday, NOW Corp. said its telco affiliate inked a letter of intent to work with the USTDA during the 5th Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Tokyo, Japan held earlier this week. The signatories include USTDA Director Enoh Ebong and NOW Telecom chair and CEO Mel Velarde.

The collaboration covers possible financing schemes to fund the rollout of the 5G project. The technical aspect, on the other hand, will provide NOW with the “necessary analysis, designs and plans for phased implementation of the project and conduct a 5G pilot network at multiple sites in Metro Manila to validate network performance, test 5G use cases and provide data to inform larger scale deployment.”

“Our goal is to deliver a clean and secure 5G network that will help achieve social and financial mobility, reduce inequality, improve health and education and spur economic growth for the Filipino people,” Velarde said.

In 2022, the listed company said it planned to spend as much as P7.8 billion over the next 10 years to establish additional 100 base stations and build up its digital

The additional stations would be located in Mega Manila to cover gaps in its services. It currently has 50 base stations, mostly in Metro Manila and the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region.