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NOW Telecom, USTDA partner to launch 5G mobile, wireless network

NOW Telecom Company Inc., an affiliate of listed NOW Corp., said Friday it has partnered with the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) for the development and deployment of its stand-alone 5G mobile and fixed wireless network in the Philippines.

In a news release, NOW Telecom said it signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with USTDA at the Fifth Annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Tokyo, Japan, on January 12.

The LOI was signed by USTDA director Enoh Ebong along with NOW Telecom chairman and CEO Mel Velasco Velarde.

Under the LOI, the USTDA, a foreign assistance agency of the US government that connects the US private sector to infrastructure projects in developing and middle-income countries, has agreed to provide a grant to NOW Telecom to fund technical assistance (TA) and a 5G pilot network launch to support the company’s 5G deployment.

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.

Likewise, the TA includes an examination of the various financing schemes available, including grant, equity, and debt financing from potential donors, investors, and financial institutions, and an assessment of the level of interest of funding organizations, the amount and terms of potential financing, and any specific financial requirements for the full-scale implementation of the project. —VBL, GMA Integrated News