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First in SEA: DTI says Elon Musk to bring SpaceX to PH

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced Thursday that SpaceX, the company of US tech billionaire Elon Musk, is set to enter the Philippine telco market.
File photo: Elon Musk's SpaceX

SpaceX entering PH soon

Preparations are now "underway" for the registration of the company, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a statement. The US-based firm is set to establish a local Filipino entity that will be its wholly-owned subsidiary.

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 said the trade chief together with National Telecommunications Commission Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios met with officials of SpaceX.

SpaceX's decision comes as President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a measure amending Public Service Act (PSA), which allows 100% foreign ownership.

Lopez said SpaceX targets to provide internet services in the Philippines using its Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network constellation called Starlink.

Three gateways are being eyed for deployment for SpaceX's initial phase of its launch.

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.

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