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Starlink to launch in Philippines

April 4, 2022

By Chris Forrester

The Philippines is preparing to register Elon Musk’s Starlink service an operating licence for its broadband-by-satellite system, said by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez as the first in South-East Asia.

Local reports say that Starlink is now researching where to locate three dedicated Gateways throughout the archipelago for its first services and to set up its own local subsidiary. The Philippines includes around 2000 populated islands (out of a total of some 7600) and a population of about 90 million.

No date was given for the service to be activated.

According to the trade minister, the launch of SpaceX/Starlink in the country will enable a much faster broadband speed, better connectivity, more capacity for telecommunications services and more affordable rates for consumers. Lopez said, “Their system will augment as well as complement existing broadband capacities. This will further capacitate micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), facilitate online learning, e-commerce and fintech.”

However, a coincidental announcement from IPS and SkyPerfect JSAT also confirmed their plans to launch a satellite broadband service to the Philippines. IPS’s President and CEO, Koji Miyashita, and SKY Perfect JSAT Corp’s President & CEO, Eiichi Yonekura announced initiation of its SKY Perfect JSAT’s satellite broadband service to InfiniVAN, a consolidated subsidiary of IPS, in the Philippines.

The first IPS/JSAT user site is located in the Batan Island of Batanes in North Philippines. The satellite broadband service is being used for remote monitoring of wind-power generation facility and will also be used to help resolve digital divide in the surrounding rural areas.

This satellite broadband service uses one of SKY Perfect JSAT’s newest satellites, JCSAT-1C, which commenced operation in 2020. JCSAT-1C is a high throughput satellite and which has significantly more capacity compared to those of a conventional communication satellite and enables the provision of high-quality satellite broadband service at lower cost.

The island of Luzon is one of the three larger groups, and its capital is Manila and with another major population based at Quezon City. The Luzon island’s overall population is given as about 64.2 million. Mindanao is the next-largest with a population of some 25.5 million. Samar is the third-most populated island with 1.88 million.

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