SpaceX Starlink Coming to the Philippines by Q2

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SpaceX is gearing up to deploy Starlink, its satellite internet service, in the Philippines, according to an announcement from Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez (via TheStar).

Starlink is a high-speed broadband service from SpaceX that connects to a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO) and is designed to provide affordable internet at viable speeds anywhere and everywhere across the globe. As of February, Starlink has surpassed 250,000 user terminals across the globe.

SpaceX is in the process of setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary in the Philippines, with plans to deploy three Starlink gateways for the first phase of Starlink’s launch in the country.

The company has already applied for a business permit application in the country as it searches for possible locations for its gateways. Lopez said preparations are underway for SpaceX’s registration in the Philippines.

The Republic of the Philippines will be the first South-East Asian country to get Starlink. While Lopez did not specify an exact timeline for the service’s launch, he said the project is expected to be finalized before the end of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s six-year presidential term on June 30.

According to Lopez, Starlink will enable much faster broadband speeds, better connectivity, more capacity for telecommunications service, and more affordable rates for consumers in the country, particularly in remote and unserved/underserved areas. Median speeds on Starlink during the last quarter of 2021 surpassed 100 Mbps in the U.S. and Canada, with similar results in other countries.

Discussions on bringing Starlink to the country began in November of last year, according to Lopez. The Philippine Trade Secretary said the recent signing of the amended Public Service Act, which allows up to 100% foreign ownership of public services in the country, was a key convincing factor.

Last month, SpaceX increased monthly subscription fees and the prices of Starlink kits in the U.S. and beyond.

Earlier this week, SpaceX added a Starlink availability map to its website. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said the company expects to have over 4,200 Starlink satellites in operation within 18 months, allowing for even better global coverage.

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