Now Telecom prepares for 5G, offers 11% equity for listing

Now Telecom, a telecommunications company owned by businessman Mel Velarde, has revealed plans to offer 5G or fifth generation wireless technology which is about to revolutionize the telecommunications industry.

Newly elected Now Telecom president and COO Rodolfo Pantoja

In its recent board meeting, the company approved plans to adopt 5G technologies that allow the delivery of up to 20 Gigabit per second speed to enterprises and homes, a quantum leap in broadband technology that will give birth to innovations never seen before.

Now Telecom has also brought in telecommunications expertise to its management by electing Rodolfo Pantoja, former Indonesian telecommunications firm Smartfren CEO, as its new president and chief operating officer.

Pantoja spent 28 years in Indonesia, under the PT Sinar Mas Komunikasi Teknologi banner, leading the telecommunications company to an exclusive 4G-LTE operations, which is expected to add valuable experience to the table for Now Telecom.

Pantoja graduated from the De La Salle University in 1975 and had his graduate studies from the Asian Institute of Management in 1979.

“The Decentralized Gigabit Era is upon us now. 5G will allow high wireless bandwidth in low latency scenarios, allowing for further complex technologies to exist. 5G is necessary for the Internet of Things to thrive. With cloud computing, you can now decentralize the business of telecommunications,” said Pantoja.

In the same meeting, Velarde was elected chairman and remains as chief executive officer.

Now Telecom holds a license from National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to operate Cellular Mobile Telephony System (CMTS), with frequency assignment of 5G mid-band channels. It has deployed in selected areas the Israeli-based technology TELRAD wireless technology that delivers 200 mbps to its present customers, which will soon increase to gigabit speeds.

Now Telecom CEO Mel Velarde

In order to strengthen its portfolio to seize greater opportunities from 5G, Now Telecom’s board of directors also approved to offer to publicly listed Now Corporation an additional 11 percent for share swap with Now Telecom, which will result in Now Corporation owning 30 percent of Now Telecom. This will satisfy the congressional franchise requirement for Now Telecom to have the public own at least 30 percent of the company.

“We are a compliant telecommunications company. By being compliant with the terms of our congressional franchise, we boost the confidence of our investors, both foreign and Local,” Velarde said.

Velarde added that if needed, they are willing to explore other offering options such as listing by way of introduction for Now Telecom.

Similar to the swap of shares in 2009, the 11-percent equity owned by the owners of Now Telecom will be swapped with Now Corporation shares. These owners of Now Telecom will receive Now Corporation shares.

Now Telecom does not own shares in Now Corporation. It is the owners of the 11-percent equity in Now Telecom who will own Now Corp shares after the swap.

Now Telecom renewed its congressional franchise last February 22, 2018, for another 25 years of operations, under Republic Act 10972.

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