Now Telecom taps Aboitiz, Frontier Tower for common cell sites

Now Corp. Telecom has signed a memorandum of understanding with Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) and Frontier Tower Associates (FTA) to discuss and negotiate the lease of build-to-suit sites, towers, and passive telecommunications infrastructure and facilities.

Photo shows (from left) Now Corp. CTO Rene L. Rosales, Now Corp. Telecom deputy CEO Rodolfo P. Pantoja, Aboitiz InfraCapital SVP and COO Cosette V. Canilao, Frontier Tower Associates executive chairman and CEO Patrick Tangney

The company said the move aligns with its goal of providing 5G wireless network technology which will allow the delivery of up to 20 gigabit per second speed to enterprises and homes.

“We welcome the government’s initiative to foster tower sharing because it reduces the cost of deployment while also accelerating the network rollout as ‘difficult or costly to acquire’ sites become feasible as the cost is shared among operators,” Now Corp. Telecom president Rodolfo Pantoja said. 

“We started our engagement with the Aboitiz Group for the provision of broadband connectivity to Union Bank of the Philippines. We are happy to explore more opportunities with Aboitiz and its partner, Frontier Tower Associates, in key areas such as shared infrastructure,” Pantoja said in a statement.

AIC and FTA signed a cooperation agreement for the development, construction, operation, and maintenance of a common tower network last June 19, 2019. Together, they aim to provide passive wireless communications infrastructure, such as towers, poles, for the use of wireless companies and Internet service providers such as Now Corp.. 

“We are very pleased to work with Now Corp. Telecom and Now Corp. Corp. on this engagement, which brings us even closer to our goal of building up the country’s connectivity by implementing tower sharing. This is very much in line with Aboitiz InfraCapital’s commitment to advance the digitalization of business and communities through relevant infrastructure-solutions,” said AIC COO Cosette Canilao.

Aboitiz InfraCapital will bring to this project the Aboitiz conglomerate’s extensive experience in building and operating provincial utility networks like the Visayan Electric Co., Davao Light and Power Co., and Cotabato Light and Power.

Meantime FTAP, a member of established international tower firm, Frontier Tower Associates Group (FTA), will bring the experience gained from rolling out and operating thousands of towers in ASEAN.

“We are committed to improving the Philippines’ connectivity and look forward to working together with Now Corp.,” FTA chairman and CEO Patrick Tangney said.

In October 2019, Now Corp. Corp sealed a multi-year agreement with UnionBank for the deployment of Now Fiber Air, its enterprise-grade broadband product in the Aboitiz-led lender’s headquarters in Pasig City.

UnionBank is in the midst of a digital transformation initiative that aims to bring its banking services and products closer to consumers through the Internet.  In addition, Now Corp. has struck an agreement together Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) for the development of new 5G products in the Philippines.

In late-October 2019, Now Corp. has also entered into a strategic partnership with SK Telecom, South Korea’s largest telecom player.  The partnership shall leverage on SK Telecom’s expertise to develop 5G technologies and build a 5G stand-alone network in the Philippines.

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