Manila, Philippines-NOW Corporation’s associate, NOW Telecom Company, Inc. (“NOW Telecom”), and Nokia of America Corporation have signed the Secondary Agreement of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (“USTDA”) funded grant for a Technical Assistance (“TA”) on NOW Telecom’s deployment of a secured 5G Mobile Network and Nationwide Broadband Network (“NBN”) in the Philippines. This marks the completion of the execution of all the required documents for the USTDA Project. The Project is now in full swing.
USTDA’s funding will support NOW Telecom’s development and implementation of a mobile and fixed wireless network utilizing 5G technology. The TA will be undertaken by BLC as the prime contractor, a company registered in the US that is engaged in research and scientific development in the telecommunications sector.
The TA will provide NOW Telecom with the necessary analysis, designs, and plans for phased implementation of a nationwide stand-alone 5G wireless network in the Philippines using an industry-validated approach. Key deliverables of the TA include: (1) the design of a nationwide stand-alone 5G wireless network, (2) the design and planning for a nationwide broadband network, and (3) the design and implementation of a pilot 5G network in Metro Manila.
Underscored in the TA is that NOW Telecom commits itself to using only trusted suppliers for the Project. BLC shall adhere to a “Clean Network” policy to support the implementation of a cyber-secure network to safeguard the data privacy of NOW Telecom’s enterprise and residential customers.
In addition to the key deliverables, the TA through BLC shall develop detailed estimates of the amount of funding required to implement the large-scale deployment, including the 5G network, the NBN and various components. In addition, the TA shall examine the availability of grant, equity, and debt financing from potential domestic and international donors, investors, and financial institutions including but not limited to the Export-Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM”) and the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (“DFC”). BLC will then assess the level of interest of these organizations on the terms of potential financing and specific financial requirements for full-scale implementation.
A component of the TA is an economic and cost-benefit analysis to document the benefit of the Project to society. The analysis is critical for its partner organizations in obtaining support of government stakeholders, financial institutions and other parties that may engage the Project.
Other components of the TA include Policy and Regulatory Analysis, Environment and Development Impact Assessment, and Project Implementation Plan.
This Project is an initial step to the partnership of NOW Telecom with the U.S.
Government as announced during the visit of US VP Kamala Harris. To recall, the White House released a Fact Sheet outlining the new initiatives to strengthen U.S.-Philippines
Alliance in November 2022. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/11/20/fact-sheet- vice-president-harris-launches-new-initiatives-to-strengthen-u-s-philippines-alliance/)
The Project supports the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. The Project will greatly contribute to the overall improvement of broadband connectivity in the country and increase competition in the Filipino market. Lastly, the Project is supportive of the current administration’s Digital Infrastructure agenda.