NOW Corp inks 5G deal with Korean firm in bid to be 4th major telco

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2019 07:43 PM

MANILA - NOW Corp. said it has inked a deal with South Korea's largest telco to roll out 5G services in the Philippines and "leapfrog" other service providers. 

NOW disclosed to the stock exchange that it has "entered into a strategic partnership with Korean telco giant SK Telecom for NOW’s 5G rollout." 

The agreement was signed on Oct. 24 by executives of NOW and SK Telecom, the company said. 

Earlier this year, SK Telecom along with 2 other South Korean telcos launched the world's first commercial 5G services.

"As a strategic partner, SK Telecom will also extend its new 5G- based applications and solutions to provide enterprises and home broadband users in the Philippines with game-changing and unparalleled experience," NOW said.

NOW Corp and its affiliate NOW Telecom withdrew their bid to become the Philippines' third major telco player last year after questioning the selection process. Despite this, the company later said that it was proceeding with its expansion plans. 

NOW said its telecom affiliate is only one of four companies that have a franchise to operate a national telecommunications network, aside from SMART, Globe Telecom, and Dito Telecommunity.

"With SK Telecom’s global leadership in 5G, NOW can leapfrog competition and hit the mobile gigabit ground running with almost zero trial and error," said NOW Telecom chairman Mel Velarde. 

Globe Telecom launched 5G services earlier this year, targetting mainly homes and businesses that still lack fixed broadband access.

SMART is targetting to launch 5G services next year. Dito Telecommunity, which won the bid to be the country's third major telco, has also said that it will offer 5G services in 2020.