Starlink is now available for Filipino users!

A huge milestone in improving our connectivity starts here. However, don’t expect Starlink services to be “affordable”

Image showing that Starlink is now available in the Philippines. Courtesy of SpaceX

We have been keeping track of Elon Musk’s satellite internet services for a while, ever since its inception in the Philippines. Yes, starting from the planning, to confirmation with appropriate regulation boards, and now, its availability.

Two days ago, 24th February, SpaceX, Starlink’s parent company, has announced that it is now operational in select areas in the Philippines. The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has called this occassion a “game changer”. Indeed, as now even remote areas could have internet access where local Fiber networks could not reach.

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The concept behind Satellite internet is similar to satellite communications which is accessible to citizens through a satphone. In a nutshell, signals from satellites connect to the satellite-capable antennas of a satphone. These signals have a far longer range than cellular towers and could reach even the most isolated areas such as deserts, mountains, and open jungles.

In a remote setting, Satellite internet is a good idea as satellite internet connections don’t run through fiber optic cables. Starlink uses Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to make their connections work. These types can connect through dense and sparsely populated areas easily. This is also one of the main goals of the government so that everyone has internet access throughout the country.

DICT also noted that Starlink will “complement” existing broadband capacities in the country, thus improving overall internet connectivity in the country. It is also worth noting that the Philippines is the first country in Asia to receive Starlink.

You’re probably reading this because you find it interesting… Or because you want to know how much Starlink costs. You could subscribe to Starlink and receive up to 200Mbps connectivity for only Php 2,700 a month. Take note, during the first time, you will be asked to pay Php 29,320 for the installation of Starlink’s kit. This sounds ridiculously expensive but it’s a worthy investment, especially if you’re in an area where local internet broadbands can’t reach.

We understand that not everyone is keen on switching or using to satellite internet from their fiber optics. Unfortunately, the satellite themselves are expensive to maintain, especially if it’s meant for civilian purposes. However, Starlink offers a 20m/s latency and smartphones still cost far less than using a subscription.

Source: Manila Bulletin, Telecom Talk