Philippine tycoon Henry Sy Jr. Joins Forces with US tech mogul Elon Musk to Bring Starlink to Southeast Asia
Data Link Inc., a company partly owned by Sy, signed an agreement with Elon Musk‘s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), allowing it to become the premier Starlink integrator for both Philippines and Southeast Asia, as verified by Data Lake Chairman Anthony Almeda.
Starlink is the satellite internet service of SpaceX, with a constellation of satellites that has the ability to render uninterruptible internet service even to remote areas, impervious to natural disasters. “With 7,640 islands, connecting the Philippine archipelago to the rest of the world often requires extensive infrastracture,” said Almeda.
The broadband internet powered by satellites orbiting the earth will be offered to businesses and government offices. Starlink is currently available in 40 nations and features a very fast internet service with low latency.
“Traditional satellite internet speeds top out at 100 Mbps. Starlink internet download speeds reach up to 350 Mbps, which is three times as fast as traditional internet because its thousands of LEO satellites orbit at a much lower altitude, increasing communication speed,” said the official website.
The usage of lower-orbit satellites were formerly reserved for the military and scientists. However, tech moguls like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos set their sites on these, upon their discovery that the technology does not need fiber cables or cell towers to bring high-speed internet to various places.
Starlink’s research, development, manufacturing, and orbit control teams is housed by the SpaceX satellite development facility located in Redmond, Washington. Musk’s satellite technology was vital to Ukraine’s standoff against Russia.
SM Investments, owned by the Sy family, is in the business of retail, property development, and banking. So, this move by Henry Sy surprised and delighted many, as this could be a sign of Sy expanding his business empire to the technological field.
The monthly fees for the satellite’s commercial coverage in the Philippines will start at $99 or above Php5,000. Complete roll out is expected in the country by the middle of 2023.
*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Reuters taken by & SM Investments Corporation website