NOW Telecom gets provisional extension
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — NOW Telecom Co. Inc., an affiliate of publicly listed NOW Corp., said it has secured from the government an extension of its provisional authority (PA) to install, operate, and maintain a nationwide mobile telecommunications system.

NOW Telecom said the PA extension, issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) last Sept. 14, is not specific to 3G mobile communications technology, but can extend to other technologies such as 4G or 5G.

The firm said the PA is subject to a number of conditions, foremost of which is the infusion of an additional capital of at least P1.9 billion based from the first two years capital expenditure of P6.3 billion in the submitted rollout plan and approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the increase in the authorized and paid-up capital.

NOW Telecom is also required to accelerate the installation of broadband data service in the suburban and rural areas, wherein it shall strictly comply with the 70:30 ratio of urban to suburban and rural network rollout coverage in each of the phases of project implementation.

The PA, meanwhile, prohibits the company from sharing or co-using its frequency to either PLDT/Smart, Globe Telecom, Dito Telecommunity, or any other entity without first securing approval from the NTC.

NOW Telecom is one of four cellular mobile telephone service licensees in the country along with Smart, Globe, and Dito.

In extending NOW Telecom’s PA, the NTC said that based on the company’s financial position, its debt-to-equity ratio complies with the 70-30 requirement of the commission.

Its total capital requirement for five years amounts to P15.9 billion and the company has to infuse at least 30 percent of total capex requirement for two years, or  P1.89 billion

NOW Telecom is looking to position itself as the country’s fourth major telecommunications player.

The company is setting the stage for its public listing, as well as its 5G network rollout.

NOW Telecom recently appointed Unicapital Inc. as financial advisor for a planned corporate restructuring, as well as exclusive issue manager and financial advisor for a planned listing by way of introduction in a stock exchange.

It is also assessing the suitability of listing its shares on the local bourse or within the region, given its medium-term business plans.

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