NOW Telecom boosts enterprise offering

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Mel Velarde’s NOW Telecom Co. Inc. will bring in enterprise-grade solutions from Silicon Valley after signing a partnership with a California-based developer.

In a regulatory filing, NOW Corp. said that its affiliate, Now Telecom, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Celona Inc. for the delivery of 5G solutions to firms.

The MOU, in particular, requires Celona to assist NOW Telecom in enhancing and expanding its broadband reach by rolling out standalone private wireless networks meant for enterprises.

On the other hand, NOW Telecom is tasked to introduce products and services offered by Celona to its clients in the Philippines. The firm will also use Celona solutions to simplify customer experience and uplift its own network.

In the long term, NOW Telecom plans to maximize Celona’s portfolio of end to end services and include them in its enterprise offering. The firm aims to pitch 5G solutions to market players in logistics, manufacturing, and transportation, among others.

“NOW will utilize Celona’s complete end to end portfolio of NR (new radio)products as part of its private wireless managed service offering,” NOW Corp. said.

“The Celona-NOW partnership will target key verticals markets, such as manufacturing, oil and natural gas, logistics and transportation ports looking to automate business processes, improve on their productivity, and streamline operations,” it added.

NOW Telecom is gaining ground in its bid to become a major player in the connectivity contest, kicking off the year after receiving a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

The grant mandates NOW Telecom to develop a secure 5G standalone network infrastructure in the Philippines. In doing this, NOW Telecom will be aided by Bell Labs Consulting, represented by Nokia of America Corp. as the prime contractor, in deploying 5G sites.

NOW Telecom announced its entry in the 5G market in 2019, promising subscribers a download speed of up to 20 Gbps. However, it was slapped with multiple sanctions by regulators for trying to mislead investors by claiming it is the fourth player in the telco industry.

NOW Telecom aims to invest at least P7.8 billion over the next 10 years for network upgrades to keep up with competitors in the connectivity segment.

Celona, meanwhile, provides 5G solutions to enterprises across the globe, counting some of the largest firms as its clients, including BMW, NTT, Schneider Electric and Verizon.

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