All systems go for Starlink in Philippines

National telecoms regulator awards VAS license to Elon Musk's LEO satellite broadband company.

Ken Wieland, contributing editor

May 27, 2022

2 Min Read
All systems go for Starlink in Philippines

It didn't take long. Only half an hour after completing all the necessary paperwork, SpaceX company Starlink – as reported by the Philippines News Agency – was awarded a VAS license by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

It means the LEO satellite broadband provider, which is part of the Elon Musk empire, can offer Internet access across the entire country.

NTC, it seems, wants to see this happen sooner rather than later. It pointedly noted that Starlink will have "direct access" to ground facilities that are needed to get the service up and running as soon as possible.

Figure 1: The Philippines will be the first country in Southeast Asia to offer Starlink broadband service. (Source: Panther Media GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo) The Philippines will be the first country in Southeast Asia to offer Starlink broadband service.
(Source: Panther Media GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo)

"The NTC is steadfast in helping ensure that roll-out of Starlink's internet access services will be done expeditiously and professionally," said NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba in a statement.

First in the queue

The Philippines, claimed NTC, will be the first country in Southeast Asia to offer the Starlink broadband service, which promises to be much better than the higher latency and lower speed fare offered by "regular" satellite Internet.

"Starlink is expected to cover villages in urban and suburban areas and rural areas that remain unserved or underserved with internet access services," added Cordoba.

"The service is expected to bring cost-effective internet access in these areas."

Lawyer Bienvenido Marquez from local law firm Quisumbing Torres, and acting as SpaceX counsel, thanked NTC for its "prompt action" in awarding the VAS license.

"This shows the government's seriousness in addressing the connectivity needs of our country in unserved and underserved areas," he said.

"This will also prepare us in the event of natural disasters and calamities."

Share price thrust for partners

Local companies associated with Starlink as potential partners got a share-price boost following news of the VAS license award.

Shares in Transpacific Broadband Group International, as reported by Bloomberg, jumped by as much as 15.3%.

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IT solutions provider DFNN, whose chairman reportedly met recently with SpaceX executives, climbed 12.6%.

Converge ICT Solutions, which has apparently signed a deal with SpaceX to lease infrastructure, rose 3.3%.

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— Ken Wieland, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Ken Wieland

contributing editor

Ken Wieland has been a telecoms journalist and editor for more than 15 years. That includes an eight-year stint as editor of Telecommunications magazine (international edition), three years as editor of Asian Communications, and nearly two years at Informa Telecoms & Media, specialising in mobile broadband. As a freelance telecoms writer Ken has written various industry reports for The Economist Group.

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