NOW signs asset use deal with TransCo

Listed NOW Corp. has taken another step in its planned bid to challenge the PLDT-Globe duopoly, inking a deal with National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) for the use of the latter’s assets.

NOW and subsidiary NOW Telecom Co. have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoA) with the state-owned firm “to collaborate on the potential use of TransCo’s existing fiber and microwave assets nationwide … vacant lots, tower spaces and related facilities … for the purpose of building a nationwide fixed broadband network,” the company said in a disclosure.

“NOW is determined to build an independent nationwide backbone to cover the entire country and we are seriously looking on the viability of collaborating with TransCo to achieve this end,” NOW Corp. Chairman Thomas Aquino was quoted as saying in a statement.

NOW’s franchise was recently renewed for another 25 years by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The company, along with Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and ICT Converge Solutions, is said to be among those looking to become the country’s third major telecommunications player.

The government is currently finalizing the terms of reference for a planned auction and expects to announce a winning bidder before the end of the year.

NOW recently reported first quarter earnings of P3.53 billion, up 248.18 percent from a year earlier, that it attributed to its core broadband business.

Its shares closed 2.34 percent or 23 centavos higher on Thursday at P10.08 apiece.

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