NOW Corp is considering 5G, 26 GHz; Seeks to acquire Newsnet – Manila Bulletin
At its board meeting held on October 3, 2022, the board of directors of PSE-listed NOW Corporation authorized management to enter into negotiations with News and Entertainment Network Corporation (NEWSNET) to acquire an equity interest in NEWSNET, an interactive pay-TV and multimedia services company assigned to the coveted 26Ghz spectrum. This is part of NOW’s drive to expand, consolidate and strengthen its core business, subject to applicable regulatory approval from regulatory agencies and government bodies.
NEWSNET has authority from the National Telecommunications Commission to install, operate and maintain in the 25.35 GHz to 26.35 GHz spectrum band the Local Multipoint Distribution System (LMDS) to provide interactive pay-TV and multimedia services in Metro Manila and parts of South Luzon, North Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Recent Court of Appeal decisions resolved NEWSNET’s rights to said 5G frequencies and affirmed NEWSNET’s authority to operate interactive pay TV and multimedia services.
This strategic decision to acquire NEWSNET will upgrade NOW Corp’s existing Fiber Air network to 5G – 26 GHz to provide interactive pay-TV and multimedia services, laying the foundation for intensive synergy with its subsidiary NOW Telecom Company, Inc. The latter has the license to operate nationwide non-3G specific mobile telephone services (MTS), i.e. including 5G and direct satellite to mobile devices, homes and businesses.
“NOW Corp’s potential acquisition of NEWSNET serves two purposes. First, the increase in capacity, from 2.4 Gbps per existing base station to 9 Gbps, an increase of almost 500%. This GIGABIT capacity will be appreciated by residential, enterprise and vertical markets. Second, increasing coverage of Metro Manila, currently in 50 market areas and expanding to parts of South Luzon, North Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. said Francis Xavier L. Manglapus, vice president of NOW Corporation during a press briefing held at the EDSA Shangri-la hotel.
“The demand for greater capacity and higher speeds with better latency is expected to increase over time. From a technology perspective, upgrading our network should unlock the full potential of 5G – higher capacity, faster uploads and downloads, low latency. With more and more collaborative software used by businesses and workers adopting a hybrid configuration, our network will be geared towards meeting these needs,” said Rene L. Rosales, president of NEWSNET.
The synergy of the companies of the NOW group will be intensified even before the final closure of this announced acquisition intention. Concurrent with board approval, NOW Corp, NOW Telecom and NEWSNET with NOW Cable, Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding creating a common digital infrastructure for internal, private and public sector use, streamlining their operations, optimizing their use of the network, and leveraging shared services and resources. This digital infrastructure shall serve the NOW Group and private/public organizations creating a digital ecosystem that shares common values of digital sovereignty, equity, accessibility, affordability and other human benefits derived from modern technologies in free and democratic societies.
The same parties plan to increase their current 50 market areas to a total of 150 market areas in Mega Manila and further expand nationwide through collaboration, joint venture, transfer projects built (BOT), public-private partnership (PPP), etc. with local community organizations such as local government units (LGUs), electricity cooperatives, cable television operators, Internet service providers (ISPs), broadcasters, property developers, universities and colleges of State (SUC) and other community organizations .
The Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (“AIJC”) was tasked under the same agreement to provide research consultancy services, professional development programs and communication programs to local communities with the aim of help plan, design and build their own thread. and/or wireless communication network and connect to the NOW Group 5G digital infrastructure. “Given the implementation of the Mandanas law, LGUs should build, operate and maintain their own fiber optic network. In any case, they are the ones who issue the permits. At NOW Group, we will provide them with all the services they need. Why allow local revenues from telecommunications services to leave localities? Local revenues must stay local,” said Raul L. Manglapus Jr., vice president of NOW Telecom. The NOW Group consists of NOW Corp, NOW Telecom, NEWSNET and NOW Cable.
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