Now Corp. allots $713m over 5-years to rollout 5G network

Now Corp., a listed company controlled by the Velarde family said it will be spending $713 million over a five-year period to rollout 5G network in Metro Manila. 

Rene Rosales, president and chief operating officer of Now Telecom said capital expenditures (capex) requirement over a five year period at about $713 million, initially $152 million ($30 million for the first two years and $122 million for the third year). 

Rosales said much of this capex would be the acquisition of 5G New Radio equipment that has already been made available for de novo infrastructure network build-up, which is ideal for NOW Telecom since it has no 2G, 3G or 4G legacy technologies. 

The company is expected to raise capital through various fundraising exercises.

Rosales said over a five-year period, the company aims to deploy 5G FWA network in the National Capital Region (NCR), and North and South of NCR.

“The main product offering of NOW’s 5G FWA shall be a broadband plan of up to 10 gigabit per second service, a ten-fold increase to NOW’s current offering,” Rosales said. 

“This 5G plan would build on NOW’s current markets and their growing needs such as business enterprises, highly-dense residential areas, high-end residential homes and high-rise buildings,” he added. 

In 2019, NOW Telecom signed an agreement with SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest telecom provider to help the company design its 5G network. It also has entered into signed agreements for various projects with Vietnam’s leading telco, Viettel. 

“NOW is well positioned to take advantage of the opportunity in the enterprise and high-end residential market in the Philippines via 5G FWA. With fairly limited competition in this space, there is a strong opportunity for NOW to gain a profitable market share, at first in NCR,” Rosales said. 

“Our affiliate NOW Corp has a deep understanding of the role of ICT in enterprises and we are in a position to become the end-to-end service provider for both ICT and broadband services,” he added. 

Now Corp. reported a net income of P11.31 million last year, up 39 percent from P8.13 million in 2018. 

“In all these years, we survive and succeed on the basis of a clear and highly differentiated competitive strategy: by being intensely focused on addressable and profitable target customers, and by building a wireless broadband network with cutting-edge technologies,” Mel Velarde, Now founder, president and chief executive said.

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