Starlink service in PH to begin this month

The government is set to activate Starlink, tech mogul Elon Musk’s satellite-based connectivity service provider, in three remote areas across the country this month as part of its initiative to bridge the digital gap, according to the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

DICT Undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo told the Inquirer the government was focusing on rolling out the satellite technology in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, which comprise 65 percent of the country.

“We will let you see how potent that new tech is. I think it will be a game-changing project, especially for island communities,” she said.

Lamentillo, however, declined to identify the remote areas yet.

The DICT previously shared it was tapping Starlink as a connectivity service provider in areas lacking internet infrastructure to allow more Filipinos to participate in the digital economy.

The National Telecommunications Commission approved Starlink’s registration as a local internet service provider in May last year.

Last month, the SpaceX unit became available locally after the inclusion of the country in the Starlink map.

Starlink integrator Data Lake Inc. previously said that the satellite connectivity service would be launched this quarter after dealing with some delays related to infrastructure deployment.

Jana Ang, head of sales and marketing of Data Lake, earlier said that the rollout would mainly cater the enterprise segment.

An enterprise kit costs about P201,600 with monthly subscription starting at P28,000 at the lowest, depending on the service package availed by the customer. Ang said the subscription has no lock-in period, which means users can cancel anytime.

The residential segment will be served only by late 2024 or early 2025 as the company faces a supply chain crunch due to shortage of chips, which are a primary input for the production of satellite dishes.

The Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia where the SpaceX division will offer satellite-based internet services. INQ

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