The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) recently signed a financial agreement with NOW Telecom Company, Inc., a Philippine company, to help fund the development of 5G mobile and broadband networks in the country. With this grant amounting to Php 118 million ($2.15 million), both parties are looking towards supporting digital transformation within the Philippines that can meet growing demand for high-bandwidth digital services from households & industry.
The agreement was signed by NOW Telecom Chairman Mel Velasco Velarde and Nokia Bell Labs Managing Partner Stefan Wilhelm during the 10th U.S.-Philippines Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held in Manila recently. This framework encourages bilateral economic relations between both countries through technical assistance that can further enhance digital opportunities throughout the Philippines, particularly in terms of strengthening affordability and availability of secure 5G networks across the country.
The feasibility study funded by this grant will include analysis, designs, plans for implementation of project; it will also establish 5G pilot network at multiple sites around Metro Manila, a major step in promoting secure digital infrastructure in the region as outlined by USTDA’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. As part of developing reliable 5G networks that offer secure 4G LTE access to remote areas or campuses provided there is fiber backhaul or satellite connectivity, NOW Telecome has identified key target locations including Mendiola Street, Sucat Road and Cavitex Island among others that require necessary upgrades so they have adequate coverage to support such services.
Furthermore, this project is consistent with USTDA’s mission of advancing economic development and U.S. commercial interests abroad by providing grants and other financial support to stimulate business investment in emerging markets while simultaneously building capacity within local organisations involved with advanced technologies like 5G networks which are crucial for achieving sustainable development objectives laid out by national governments globally today when it comes to developing their respective economies without compromising security needs of its citizens.