USTDA Supports 5G Deployment in the Philippines

Arlington, VA – The U.S. Trade and Development Agency has awarded a grant to NOW Telecom Company, Inc., for a feasibility study and pilot project to support the development of a nationwide 5G mobile and fixed wireless network in the Philippines. NOW Telecom has selected New Jersey-based Bell Labs Consulting, part of Bells Labs, the research arm of Nokia, to conduct the study.

“This grant demonstrates USTDA’s ongoing commitment to support the development of quality digital infrastructure and increasing access to affordable connectivity in the Philippines,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director.  “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.”

The study will provide NOW Telecom with the necessary analysis, designs and plans for phased implementation of its nationwide 5G and broadband network, including a 5G network pilot at multiple sites in Metro Manila to inform large-scale rollout.

“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,” said NOW Telecom Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mel Velasco Velarde. “Our partnership with USTDA will help us achieve this important mission.”

“The advisory and deployment of Nokia’s technology for NOW Telecom’s standalone 5G network will be a game changer for the Philippines. It will help to meet the growing demand for reliable and secure digital services from households and industry, using trusted technology,” said Stefan Wilhelm, Head of Bell Labs Consulting. “By funding pilot projects such as this, USTDA brings something unique to the table. It catalyzes a new way of developing infrastructure where innovation, partnership, and mutual benefit all meet.” 

USTDA’s support for this project advances the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, with the goal of developing, expanding, and deploying secure digital infrastructure to power economic growth and facilitate open digital societies.


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.