Philippine media and tech conglomerate NOW Corporation’s subsidy, NOW Telecom has signed an agreement with Vietnam’s Viettel Business Solutions as part of its plan to become the country’s fourth telecommunications giant.
Both companies signed a memorandum of agreement on Tuesday 6 October that would see an implementation of a joint go-to-market strategy.
Viettel will bring its ICT solutions to support NOW Telecom across multiple industry segments. The Vietnamese telecommunications company will also participate in potential ICT biddings and tap into the digital transformation, AI, data analytics and cybersecurity market in the Philippines.
Viettel is the largest telecommunications operator in Vietnam.
Threatening telecom market dominance in the Philippines
Touting itself as the Philippines’ fourth telecommunications company, NOW Telecom has been making significant moves to challenge the market share of current duopoly players PDLT and Globe Telecom, and upcoming third telco DITO Telecommunity.
In September, the company obtained a provisional authority extension from the Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) that allows it to operate a nationwide mobile telecommunications system.
In the same month, NOW Group founder and CEO Mel. V Velarde revealed that NOW Telecom underwent a corporate restructuring to prepare for its 5G rollout and IPO listing at the Philippine Stock Exchange.
NOW Corporation’s private holdings subsidiary, Velarde Inc. was also reported to have paid US$5.7 million (P289.5 million) off its 5.75% stake at NOW Telecom to accelerate its business ventures.
Although major business moves have been made, Philippines’ Department of Information and Communications (DICT) Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said that NOW Telecom is “not yet considered” as the country’s fourth telco.
However, following NOW Telecom’s collaboration with Viettel and hefty financial backing from its parent company, competition in the Filipino telco market is bound to intensify in 2021.
Image credit: NOW Telecom