Astranis, the world’s leading operator of dedicated communications satellites, today announced that it is partnering with Orbits Corp to bring their first dedicated internet satellite to the Philippines. The satellite will provide enough bandwidth to connect up to two million people in 5,000 remote and rural communities in the Philippines.
“We are incredibly excited to offer the Filipino people their own dedicated satellite,” said John Gedmark, CEO of Astranis. We expect this to be a critical piece of digital infrastructure that helps millions of people improve their lives, and we couldn’t have done better.
Orbits Corp is a satellite service provider and the subsidiary of a local Philippine ISP, HTechCorp, with over 20 years of experience providing Internet services to over 7,000 islands in the Philippines. Led by former lawmaker Atty Augusto Baculio, Orbits Corp’s mission is to connect unconnected regions, giving them the tools they need to thrive in the digital age.
Most of the Internet penetration in the Philippines is limited to metropolitan areas, Atty said. baculius. Other than that, going to inland villages, mountains, through islands is when you have intermittent access to connectivity or none at all. Connecting these people is of paramount importance, which is why we are thrilled to partner with Astranis on this major project to bring a dedicated satellite to the Philippines.
This Astranis satellite will be the first Internet satellite ever dedicated to the Philippines, a nation that is particularly difficult to cover with traditional connectivity solutions such as fiber, microwaves and large satellite systems. Over 20 typhoons in the Philippines each year and other natural disasters challenge the Filipino people and demonstrate the importance of a resilient connectivity infrastructure.
Given its geographic challenges, only 11,000 of the country’s 42,000 local communities are covered by fiber today, and many of those left unconnected are what the Philippine government has identified as Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA). GIDA communities often lack local hospitals and other public service institutions, and their people earn, on average, less than $5,000 a year. Connecting these GIDA communities to affordable and reliable Internet services is a top priority of the Government of the Philippines.
Secretary Ivan John Uy, head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, said, Approximately half of the Philippines’ population has no banks. Why? Because they are in remote areas where it makes no sense for a bank to open a branch. But if we give them the connectivity, they can do digital banking, they can transact, make payments and send money without taking a three-hour boat ride or hiking 30 kilometers. This is the power of connectivity.
This satellite dedicated to the Philippines will be launched in 2024 together with four additional Astranis satellites.
Astranis is building low-cost, dedicated communications satellites to connect the four billion people who lack reliable and affordable Internet access.
Each Astranis spacecraft operates from geostationary orbit (GEO) with a next-generation design weighing just 400 kg, using a proprietary software-defined radio payload. This allows Astranis to provide dedicated satellites to small and medium-sized countries, Fortune 1000 companies and other customers, as well as the US government for homeland security applications.
Astranis has successfully launched a satellite into orbit and is now underway with ten commercial programs. The company is headquartered in San Francisco and has raised over $500 million from leading global investors, with a team of more than 300 world-class engineers.
Find out more at astranis.com or on Twitter @Astranis.
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Image Source : spaceref.com