Industry trade

Lopez: PH first country in SEA for SpaceX

SPACE Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), which will provide internet services to the Philippines using its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network constellation called Starlink, is expected to begin operations in the first half of the year, the ministry said. of Trade and Industry. (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

In a statement released Thursday, Lopez is preparing for SpaceX registration and the company is finalizing investment figures and selecting sites for their gateways.

The Starlink satellite constellation is a low Earth orbit constellation made up of more than 1,600 satellites.

Lopez said the launch of SpaceX/Starlink in the country will allow for much faster broadband speeds, better connectivity, more capacity for telecommunications services, and more affordable rates for consumers.

“Their system will augment and complement existing broadband capabilities. It will further build capacity for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), facilitate e-learning, e-commerce and fintech,” he said. .

Lopez said he had meetings with SpaceX senior executives Rebecca Hunter and Ryan Goodnight, NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios and DFNN Executive Chairman Ramon Garcia Jr. to discuss the company’s plans.

SpaceX is a technology and aerospace company owned by entrepreneur Elon Musk.

The company is currently setting up a local Philippine entity to be its wholly owned subsidiary and aims to deploy three gateways in the first phase of their launch.

According to Lopez, the Philippines should be the first in Southeast Asia to benefit from such technology which will bring high-speed satellite broadband connectivity to customers, especially in areas where connectivity has been difficult or impossible.