NowTel signs grant agreement with USTDA

Now Telecom Co. Inc. said Friday it signed a grant agreement with the US Trade and Development Agency to support the former’s deployment of a nationwide stand-alone 5G mobile and fixed wireless network in the Philippines.

USTDA agreed to provide a grant on behalf of Now Telecom to fund a technical assistance and 5G pilot network launch to support the company’s 5G deployment.

USTDA director Enoh Ebong and Now Telecom chairman and chief executive Mel Velasco Velarde signed the letter of intent during a ceremony at the the Annual IPBF co-hosted by the governments of Japan and the United States, the US Chamber of Commerce and the US-ASEAN Business Council on Jan. 12. The IPBF is a business forum aimed to promote trade, investment, and economic cooperation between the United States and Indo-Pacific nations including the Philippines.

“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.

NOW Telecom said the TA will provide the company 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.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency sponsored the Forum in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the American Association of the Indo-Pacific.