NOW Corporation and its subsidiary, NOW Telecom Company, Inc, another wireless telecommunications provider in the Philippines, entered into a strategic partnership with South Korea’s SK Telecom to provide 5G network services in 2020. Now Telecoms officially joins rivals Smart and Globe Telecom which both recently launched its 5G services this year, while Dito Telecommunity Corp is set to launch 5G in 2020.
The trilateral agreement (NOW Corp – NOW Telecom – SK Telecom) includes critical areas of collaboration and development for 5G in the Philippines: Technical Roadmap Planning – Network Conceptualization and Design – 5G Core Network Training – Establishment of 5G stand-alone (SA) network commercial Infrastructure – In-building Solutions and 5G B2B Service Development.
According to local media, Now Telecom has been gearing up to become the fourth telco in the Philippines. In 2018 its telecom franchise was renewed through a law passed in the parliament. In September 2019, it disclosed that it had secured an extension of authority to operate as a telecommunications provider from the National Telecommunications Commission, which would allow it to install, operate and maintain a telecommunications network, including mobile, data, voice, trunked radio dispatch communications system, digital and trunked radio system. In July 2019, NOW Telecom partnered with the Philippine Fiber Optic Cable Network Ltd. (PFOCN), a subsidiary of Singapore-based Hyalroute Group, a global supplier of fiber network technology.
Dito Telecommunity Corp, a consortium of Davao businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation and its subsidiary Chelsea Logistics Corporation, and Chinese state-owned China Telecommunications Corporation, a parent company of China Telecom won the government bid in 2019 to become the third major telecommunications provider in the Philippines challenging the established duopoly of PLDT and Globe Telecom.
SK Telecom Co., Ltd. is South Korea’s largest wireless carrier. In April 2019, SK Telecom has launched the world’s first commercial 5G service, taking the lead over other countries. SK Telecom has obtained the number one spot in terms of 5G subscribers in South Korea, covering major cities nationwide.
(Sources: Now Corporation, Rappler)