he Philippines announced on Thursday its plan to host U.S. private space company SpaceX's Starlink project, making it the first Southeast Asian country to avail of the technology for better telecommunications services.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said SpaceX's proposed project will provide internet services in the Philippines using its Low Earth Orbit satellite network constellation called Starlink.
Lopez said the launch of SpaceX's Starlink in the country will enable a much faster broadband speed, better connectivity, more capacity for telecommunications service, and more affordable rates for consumers, particularly in areas where connectivity has been difficult or impossible.
He said preparations are underway for SpaceX's registration and the project is expected to be finalized before Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte steps down on June 30 after completing a six-year presidential term.
Discussions on establishing the SpaceX project in the country started last November. Lopez said the recent signing of the amended Public Service Act, which allows up to 100 percent foreign ownership of public services in the country, was a critical factor in its decision to invest.
SpaceX is currently establishing a local Filipino entity that will be its wholly-owned subsidiary and is targeting to deploy three gateways in the first phase.