MANILA - Preparations are "underway" for the registration of Elon Musk's SpaceX entry to the Philippines to deploy its Starlink satellite technology, the Department of Trade and Industry said Thursday.
Starlink is SpaceX's low earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband technology that is capable of bringing connectivity even in remote areas.
SpaceX is putting up a local Filipino entity that would be its wholly-owned subsidiary and is targeting to deploy 3 gateways in the first phase of the launch, the DTI said in a statement.
The DTI said SpaceX's application for registration "is being processed" while officials are visiting locations of potential gateways.
"The Philippines is set to be the first in Southeast Asia to avail of such technology that will bring high-speed satellite broadband connectivity to customers, particularly to areas where connectivity has been difficult or impossible," the DTI said.
The DTI also shared photos of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez during a meeting with SpaceX Senior Manager for Government Affairs Rebecca Hunter and SpaceX Market Access Director Ryan Goodnight.
During the meeting, Lopez committed to assist the company in its planned establishment of the Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) unit in the country.
Lopez said the launch of SpaceX and Starlink in the Philippines would enable faster broadband speed and higher capacity for telecommunication services.
“Their system will augment as well as complement existing broadband capacities. This will further capacitate micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), facilitate online learning, e-commerce and fintech," Lopez said.
The development comes after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the amended Public Service Act, which would liberalize foreign ownership in several sectors, including telcos.
Several officials of the DTI Board of Investments earlier met with SpaceX officials to discuss the project.
Pure broadband provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc founder Dennis Uy last year said he was also "in talks" with SpaceX officials for the use of Starlink technology.
Starlink uses a constellation of over 1,600 satellites, which will eventually be increased to thousands more of mass-produced small satellites to connect with designate ground transceivers.
During Russia's invasion of Kyiv in Ukraine, Elon Musk sent Starlink transmitters and activated the service to provide much-needed connectivity.