NOW CORP. on Wednesday said it signed a memorandum of understanding with Nokia Solutions and Networks Philippines, Inc. and NOW Telecom Company, Inc. for its network expansion plan.

In a statement, the listed firm said the collaboration among the three companies would focus on the expansion of its “current broadband telecom network by rolling out a 5G standalone network in the Philippine market.”

“Joint development projects may also be undertaken under the scope of the memorandum of understanding, which also provides a strategic direction for all parties leading to a commercial framework agreement,” it added.

Mel V. Velarde, founder and chairman of the NOW Group of Companies, said: “This NOW-Nokia agreement on 5G collaboration shall bring about the multi-gigabit broadband Internet era in the Philippine Telecom, Media and Technology markets”

“NOW’s strategy is clear: to expand its current guaranteed service to high-end markets via 5G Fixed Wireless Access and extend this compelling customer experience to consumers via 5G mobile cellular broadband service. Having no legacy networks, NOW’s standalone 5G network shall rise above competition. With Nokia as our technology partner, we are confident NOW and its customers would succeed,” he added.

In an earlier disclosure, Now Corp. said it had partnered with Vietnam’s Viettel Business Solutions Corp. to offer information and communications technology (ICT) products and services in the country.

NOW Corp. affiliate Now Telecom Co., Inc. announced in September that the National Telecommunications Commission had “extended” its provisional authority to install, operate, and maintain a nationwide mobile telecommunications system. — Arjay L. Balinbin