SpaceX rushes establishment of Phl headquarters

After getting the green light from National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), SpaceX’s Starlink Internet Services Philippines Inc. is already rushing to establish its headquarters in the country so it can begin operation by next month according to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.,SpaceX secured Friday from the NTC the value-added service (VAS) papers, which will give the company direct access to the country’s satellite systems and to build and operate broadband facilities to offer internet services throughout the archipelago.,“The NTC is steadfast in helping ensure that roll-out of Starlink’s internet access services will be done expeditiously and professionally. The NTC’s swift processing of Starlink’s VAS provider registration was meant to expedite the service’s immediate roll-out,” NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said in a statement.,SpaceX will expand its operation in the country to provide internet services using its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network constellation called Starlink, the first in Southeast Asia.,Further, the NTC said using advanced satellites in a low orbit, Starlink will enable video calls, online gaming, streaming and other high data activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet, and expected to cover villages in urban and suburban areas and rural areas that remain unserved or undeserved with internet access services.,The service is expected to bring cost-effective internet access to these areas.,The constellation consists of over 1,600 satellites in mid-2021 and will eventually comprise thousands more mass-produced small satellites in LEO, which communicate with designated ground transceivers.,The Ellon Musk-conceptualized technology, Starlink, offers low latency satellite internet service with a download speed between 100 Mbps to 200 Mbps using advanced satellites in low orbit.,Earlier, SpaceX said they are bullish on their expansion here due to the growing consumer base and much-improved investment climate in the country with the current major economic reforms initiated during the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.,They noted that the 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 the company’s decision to invest, as all its technologies are proprietary.,Secretary Lopez, months ago, had vowed to expedite the processing of the clearances of SpaceX at NTC and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, noting that as the third addition in the telecom industry, their presence would oblige local players in the market to excel, provide competitive pricing and better services to consumers.,On the other hand, SpaceX, through its legal counsel Atty. Bien Marquez, extolled the government’s help for them to acquire their VAS license.,“We would like to thank the NTC for issuing Starlink’s VAS license 30 minutes after we submitted our application with complete requirements. This shows the government’s seriousness in addressing the connectivity needs of our countrymen in unserved and underserved areas. This will also prepare us in the event of natural disasters and calamities,” Marquez said.