The NOW Group of Companies said Wednesday it tapped Finnish technology leader Nokia to roll out 5G or fifth generation standalone network in the Philippines.Now Corp. and Now Telecom Company Inc. said in a statement they signed a memorandum of understanding with Nokia to introduce 5G network and 5G use cases in the country. NOW Group founder and chairman Mel Velarde said the agreement would bring about the multi-gigabit broadband Internet era in the Philippine telecom, media and technology markets. “NOW’s strategy is clear—to expand its current guaranteed service to high-end markets via 5G fixed wireless access and extend this compelling customer experience to consumers via 5G mobile cellular broadband service. Having no legacy networks, NOW’s Stand-Alone 5G network shall rise above competition. With Nokia as our technology partner, we are confident NOW and its customers would succeed,” he said.Under the MOU, the collaboration among the parties will focus on the expansion of NOW Telecom’s broadband telecom network by rolling out 5G standalone network in the Philippine market. Joint development may be undertaken under the scope of the MoU which also provides a strategic direction for all parties leading to a commercial framework agreement. The collaboration will also focus on the appropriate use cases of the 5G technology.Nokia had 133 commercial 5G contracts worldwide as of end-November, positioning it as a global leader in the delivery of 5G solutions.
Nokia Philippine country manager Andrew Cope said that, “we’re delighted to support NOW in realizing the full vision of 5G. 5G SA, with its high speed, low-latency performance and edge computing will enhance business processes, bring new applications and benefits to consumers and the wider industry.”“We’re confident that our market-leading technology will play a crucial role in setting the right conditions for 5G to become a success in the Philippines,” he said.NOW Telecom earlier revealed plans to spend $713 million for its five-year 5G fixed wireless access business plan. The company aims to deploy the 5G FWA network in the National Capital Region and offer a broadband plan of up to 10 gigabits per second. It said of the $713 million, around $152 million would be spent in the first three years, mostly to acquire new 5G radio equipment.NOW Telecom hopes to build on its stronghold, particularly business enterprises, highly dense residential areas, high-end residential homes and high-rise buildings. Company officials said the telecom firm was well-positioned in the enterprise and high-end residential market via 5G FWA and with fairly limited competition in this space, there was a strong opportunity to gain a profitable market share.