FLYING HIGH. The Philippine flags fly along Emilio Aguinaldo Highway in Dasmariñas City, Cavite on Wednesday (May 25, 2022). The flags are on display as the country prepares to celebrate its 124th Independence Day on June 12. (MNS photo)

MANILA, May 27 (Mabuhay) — The entry of American tech billionaire Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s low earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet technology in the Philippines is all set after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) approved its registration.

In a statement, the NTC said it recently approved the registration of Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc. as a Value-Added Service (VAS) provider.

Starlink is SpaceX’s LEO satellite network constellation.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) earlier announced that the Philippines is set to be the first country in Southeast Asia to avail of the Starlink technology.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also committed to finalize SpaceX’s entry into the Philippines within the remaining months of the Duterte administration.

The NTC said the approval of Starlink Internet Services Philippines’ — the wholly-owned Filipino subsidiary established by SpaceX — registration will pave the way for the company to start offering internet access services to the Philippine market in the coming months.

The telecommunications regulator said Starlink Philippines’ VAS registration “now allows the company to directly access satellite systems, build and operate broadband facilities to offer internet services.”

The NTC said its swift processing of Starlink’s VAS provider registration was meant to expedite the service’s immediate roll-out.

Atty. Bien Marquez of Quisumbing Torres, SpaceX’s counsel, thanked the NTC for its prompt action in issuing Starlink’s VAS License, according to the telecommunications regulator.

“We would like to thank the NTC for issuing Starlink’s VAS license 30 minutes after we submitted our application with complete requirements. This shows the government’s seriousness in addressing the connectivity needs of our countrymen in unserved and underserved areas. This will also prepare us in the event of natural disasters and calamities,” Marquez was quoted as saying.

For his part, NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said that the agency welcomes the entry of Starlink in the Philippines and added that the roll-out of its internet access services will benefit immensely unserved or underserved areas in the country.

“The NTC is steadfast in helping ensure that roll-out of Starlink’s internet access services will be done expeditiously and professionally,” said Cordoba.

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

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

“Starlink is expected to cover villages in urban and suburban areas and 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. (MNS)

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