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SpaceX's Starlink to launch commercial ops in Philippines by end of 2022


Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Elon Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), on Wednesday said it would launch its Low Earth Orbit satellite internet services by December.

"Hopefully, we will be providing our services by the end of the year," Starlink representative Rebecca Hunter said at a press briefing in Manila.

In May, Starlink secured the approval of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) as a value-added service (VAS) provider.

The NTC said the Starlink service offers high-speed, low-latency satellite internet service with download speeds of between 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and 200 Mbps.

Using advanced satellites in a low orbit, the agency said Starlink would enable video calls, online gaming, streaming and other high-data activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet.

Hunter said the router kit costs $599 (about P33,000).

"That is a one-time equipment purchase," she said. "The service is $99 (about P5,500) per month and there are no data caps."

The Department of Trade and Industry earlier announced that the Philippines would be the first country in Southeast Asia to avail of the Starlink technology.

"Starlink is expected to cover villages in urban and suburban areas as well as rural areas that remain unserved or underserved with internet access services. The service is expected to bring cost-effective internet access in these areas," the NTC said.

Hunter said their services would be "complementary to the services of the current providers and not a competitor."  —VBL, GMA News

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