NOW moves on, rolls out wireless internet service
NOW Corp. is moving forward with the rollout of its wireless internet services after backing away from the third telco bidding exercise early last month.
On Thursday, the company launched its first LTE site in Barangay Sta. Lucia in Pasig City using a franchise model that is unusual in the telco industry.
Using this model, franchise partners will be tapped to bring in customers in a specific area and revenues will be split between NOW and its franchisee.
“Our strategy is to partner with local entrepreneurs and local government units to bring NOW’s technology to the residences of Metro Manila and beyond where broadband and fiber optic have very little presence and performance,” said Romlo Torres, NOW group head for marketing.
NOW will initially focus on the wireless home broadband segment, he said.
According to NOW franchising manager Ruby Talosig, the franchise fee starts at P3.9 million. Thus far, NOW is offering just one type of home broadband plan: P1,499 for burstable speeds of up to 40 megabits per second (Mbps).
Officials on Thursday said they would control the number of subscribers per area, to ensure the quality of their service, owning to affiliate NOW Telecom’s limited radio frequencies.
For its first franchise area in Sta. Lucia, NOW is targeting a maximum of 640 households.
NOW is utilizing its 20 megahertz in the 3.5 gigahertz band that was awarded by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in December last year.
NOW Telecom is currently challenging the NTC for more radio frequencies. The company is seeking at least 140 MHz and last month, it filed a case before the Court of Appeals to assert its claims. —MIGUEL R. CAMUS
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