SpaceX of US billionaire Elon Musk announced Wednesday that its satellite internet service is now available in the Philippines.
“Starlink is now available in the Philippines Pilipinas,” SpaceX said in its official twitter account, without providing additional details.
Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc., the Philippine unit of SpaceX which secured the approval of the National Telecommunications Commission as a value-added service provider was supposed to roll out satellite broadband services in the Philippines in December 2022.
Starlink’s VAS registration allows the company to directly access satellite systems, build and operate broadband facilities to offer internet services.
Sought for comment, Department of Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Anna Mae Lamentillo said: “We will have a formal event. We’ll inaugurate the first earth station.”
Lamentillo did not provide more details.
The company earlier said its router kit, a one-time equipment purchase, costs $599 (P33,000), while the monthly subscription fee would be $99 (P5,500) with no data caps.
The Philippines is expected to be the first country in Southeast Asia to enjoy Starlink services which offer high-speed low-latency satellite internet with download speed between 100 megabits per second and 200 Mbps.
Using advanced satellites in a low earth orbit, Starlink will enable video calls, online gaming, streaming and other high data activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet.
Starlink earlier teamed up with Data Lake, a company led by billionaire Henry Sy Jr., to bring satellite broadband services across the country.
Data Lake and Starlink executives early this month assured President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the high-speed, low latency broadband internet would be launched in the country in the first quarter.
The National Telecommunications Commission also approved the request of Starlink to exempt its equipment from radio station licensing to expedite the commercial rollout of its satellite internet services.
The NTC said in a statement it “deemed approved the request of Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc. that its Starlink user terminals be classified as customer premise equipment and not to subject the same to radio station licensing as it nears its commercial roll-out.”
The NTC’s approval, however, requires Starlink to comply with filing of application for the modification of its type acceptance certificates with the NTC’s Equipment Standards Division.
NTC said Starlink should also go through the commission’s regulation branch and radio spectrum planning division to obtain permits to import and comply with product registration and submission of an affidavit of undertaking.