On Thursday, the trade secretary confirmed that SpaceX is gearing up to launch its Starlink satellite broadband service in the Philippines. To recall, Elon Musk’s Aerospace company sent a truck full of Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine earlier this month. Now, the company is on the verge of making its foray into Southeast Asia.
According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, SpaceX’s business permit application is currently in process. Moreover, Lopez revealed that the company is looking for locations for its gateways. Furthermore, Lopez confirmed that the company will be setting up a “wholly-owned subsidiary” in the Philippines, as per a report by Reuters. Aside from this, the first phase of the launch will revolve around the deployment of three gateways.
However, Lopez did not reveal the timeline or the amount spent on the launch. This announcement gives the people of the Philippines something to cheer about. For those who are unaware, the country has one of the world’s worst internet connections. Nevertheless, the Philippines still has the region’s highest mobile penetration rates at 138 percent. Furthermore, there are 74 million internet users in the Philippines.
SpaceX’s Starlink To Arrive In The Philippines
Internet users spend 10.5 hours online, which is the longest time spent compared to any other country in the world. So, it has been labeled as the social media capital of the world. Moreover, it bags the number 6 spot in the list of most Facebook users. This is despite Facebook removing accounts that haven’t activated Facebook Protect. To recall, e-commerce saw an increase of $3.6 billion in 2020 at a staggering growth rate of 43 percent. Now, the sales are likely to grow to $12 billion in 2025.
Lopez says that SpaceX’s arrival in the country will ensure improved internet speeds and connectivity. This will also help the MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises). Moreover, fintech, e-commerce, and online learning will become a seamless experience with the company’s entry into the Philippines. Furthermore, SpaceX is confident when it comes to the country’s growing consumer base, despite an increase in satellite internet plans.
Notably, SpaceX’s decision to enter the Philippines comes after the signing of the amended Public Service Act. The new law supports full foreign ownership in major industries in the Philippines, such as telcos. Convenor at public policy think tank Infrawatch, Terry Ridon suggests that the entry of Elon Musk’s satellite broadband service in the country will encourage competition and attract more foreign investments.
SpaceX’s Starlink boasts an impressive array of over 1,400 satellites capable of providing internet access even to remote areas. This is a piece of good news for avid social media users in the Philippines. They currently only rely on the country’s 4G speeds for accessing their favorite social media platforms.