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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Globe, Lynk set to pilot satellite connectivity

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Globe Telecom Inc. said Wednesday it teamed up with satellite communication company Lynk to launch a pilot program that explores using satellites to deliver mobile connectivity in remote areas of the Philippines.

The two companies signed a new agreement as a crucial step towards enhancing connectivity and communication access within the country, particularly in unserved and underserved areas. The collaboration began this month and will run until June 2025, with a live pilot trial launch anticipated within this year.

The program will employ Lynk’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation to deliver SMS, IP messaging apps and emergency alerts to target regions currently lacking traditional terrestrial network coverage.

These regions include far-flung locations with existing Globe enterprise clients and government installations and tourist destinations with limited or unreliable cellular coverage.

Globe aims to pilot the service in Zambales, Pangasinan, Siargao and Leyte.

“In line with our goal of empowering Filipinos through digital technology, we are looking for a solution to bring life-enabling connectivity to as many Filipinos as possible,” said Gerhard Tan, senior director and head of network strategy and innovations at Globe.

“Through this satellite-direct-to-phone service, we hope to provide access wherever our customers are, connecting the unconnected through disruptive technology,” he said.

Globe signed a non-commercial memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Lynk in 2022 to conduct proof of concept (PoC) testing for the satellite-direct-to-phone (sat2phone) service using low earth orbit satellites in signal-deprived areas of Bataan. The PoC was completed on Feb. 21, 2023.

Globe and Lynk successfully sent and received SMS notifications during testing, transmitted messages outside the test location and broadcast emergency alerts via a low Earth orbit satellite using standard mobile phones. The latency was within acceptable limits, and the overall results were promising, they said.

Globe and Lynk will also evaluate service viability in maritime routes, disaster zones, fishing grounds, and other areas that need improved connectivity through extended communication solutions.

The initiative will utilize typical mobile phones of customers participating in the pilot. Through data collected on customer behavior, Lynk can gain valuable insights they could use to design a commercially viable product that aligns with the deployment dynamics of satellite-direct-to-phone communication.

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