Space Exploration Technologies Corp. of US technology billionaire Elon Musk is keen on setting up its base operations in the Freeport Area of Bataan to launch Internet services through unit Starlink.
Authority of Freeport Area of Bataan administrator Emmanuel Pineda said FAB held a series of productive meetings with SpaceX and Starlink executives over the past few months.
“In those meetings, the AFAB, in conjunction with the provincial leaders of Bataan and with the assistance of FAB enterprise, iWave Advanced Research Group, discussed the possibility of Starlink initially launching its service in the province of Bataan by establishing a base of operations in the FAB,” he said.
Pineda said with the recent enactment of Republic Act No. 11659, or the Public Service Act, SpaceX and Starlink were given the option to move forward with the regulatory process, incorporate and draw up an operational plan. The PSA liberalized foreign ownership of telecom services, among other sectors and industries.
AFAB said while talks with SpaceX were going smoothly, there was no definite project timeline yet on when the project would take off, “given that those are complex matters may take time.”
SpaceX executives, however, were keen on completing the process within the year, said Pineda. The AFAB is confident that more details and updates are forthcoming.
Starlink provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet across the globe. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.
Using advanced satellites in a low orbit, Starlink enables video calls, online gaming, streaming and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet.
Users can expect to see download speeds between 100 megabits per second and 200 Mb/s and latency as low as 20ms in most locations.
The constellation had over 1,600 satellites in mid-2021, and will eventually have thousands more of mass-produced small satellites in LEO, which communicate with designated ground transceivers.
SpaceX executives said the company is bullish on the growing consumer base and much-improved investment climate in the Philippines with the major economic reforms.
The Department of Trade and Industry said the launch of Starlink would provide faster broadband speed, better connectivity, more capacity for telecommunications services and redound to more affordable rates for consumers.
The DTI is providing the required assistance to allow SpaceX to launch widespread internet service to support existing broadband capacities.