Now Corp. hooks up with Korea’s SK Telecom for 5G pivot

Local ICT firm Now Corporation, together with its telecom arm Now Telecom, has inked a partnership with SK Telecom (SKT), the largest telecom operator in South Korea.

Present during the signing were (from left) Shim Sang-soo, vice president and head of infra business office of SK Telecom, Now Corporation chair Thomas Aquino, and Now Telecom chair Mel V. Velarde

SKT, which launched the world’s first commercial 5G, is transferring Korea’s 5G technologies to the Philippines and will also export 5G B2B or business-to-business solutions to the country via Now Corp.

Now Corp, which has established a fixed wireless access network, may also enter the mobile communications space with SKT as strategic partner which will provide the latest technologies and consulting services for the entire process of 5G commercialization and offer B2B solutions.

According to Now Corp., SKT will support the entire process of 5G commercialization of the former in the Philippines.

Now Telecom chair Mel Velarde pointed out that with SKT’s global leadership in 5G, Now Corp. can leapfrog competition and hit the mobile gigabit ground running with almost zero trial and error.

“Imagine the kind of compelling customer experience enjoyed by Koreans from 5G to arrive on our shores by a flick of a finger. That’s what this collaboration is all about,” he said.

Meanwhile, Now Corp. chair Thomas Aquino emphasized that the partnership marks a significant step for the company as it expands its network and joins forces with the telco operator that has launched 5G commercial services.

“5G is said to unleash gigabit of speeds and it is said to spur growth in the enterprise sector most especially in the areas of Internet-of-Things (iOT), and smart cities. We are excited for this partnership as we grow Now Corp. in new horizons,” Aquino pointed out.

Earlier, Now Telecom announced that it plans to adopt 5G technologies that allow the delivery of up to 20 gigabit per second speed to enterprises and homes. Now Telecom president Rodolfo Pantojo has explained that 5G will allow high wireless bandwidth in low latency scenarios, allowing for further complex technologies to exist, such as iOT.

Now Corp. officials added that the partnership with SKT will help produce a more defined business strategy for the former and its execution programs for the next five to 10 years as the country begins to embrace 5G and its various applications.

Last April, SKT launched the world’s first commercial 5G, taking the lead over other countries. The South Korean telco has also obtained the number one spot in terms of 5G subscribers in its country, covering major cities nationwide.

Last July, SKT started the world’s first 5G roaming service with Swisscom and have also launched three 5G AR and VR services to deliver immersive e-sports broadcasting experience.

The trilateral agreement signed last Thursday night in Manila between Now Corp., Now Telecom and SK Telecom covering Now’s 5G play includes key areas of collaboration and development for 5G in the Philippines, namely technical roadmap planning, network conceptualization and design, 5G core network training, establishment of 5G stand-alone (SA) network commercial infrastructure, in-building solutions and 5G B2B service development.

SKT and Now Corp. will soon draw up a phased 5G commercialization plan as part of the agreement. SKT officials revealed that since the world’s first 5G commercialization, SK Telecom has been in talks with various players for cooperation in 5G.

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