MANILA - Elon Musk's SpaceX is eyeing to jump start its Starlink operations in the Philippines before the end of President Rodrigo Duterte's term in June, Trade Chief Ramon Lopez said Tuesday.
Starlink uses low-earth orbit satellites for broadband services which can be transmitted to consumers or linked to local telcos, Lopez told ANC.
So far, SpaceX has submitted documents for its registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is currently seeking permits from the National Telecommunications Commission, Lopez said.
"They intend to start to start operations, at least the first of the 3 gateways, before the end of June 30, before the end of the term of President Duterte," Lopez said.
"They will start the use of their low earth orbit satellites and then the gateways are essential to capture the signals from the LEOs and pass it on to consumers or link it up to telcos in the country," he added.
Starlink talks with the government were expedited when Duterte approved amendments to the Public Service Act, which liberalized foreign ownership in several sectors including telcos.
Lopez said the Philippines and Japan would be among the first in Asia to experience Starlink technology. The Philippines is set to be the first in Southeast Asia, he earlier said.
Other than SpaceX, Lopez said the PSA has also attracted more foreign investors to enter the country including data centers for hyperscalers, renewable energy, and electric vehicles.