PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications Inc., along with technology collaborator AST SpaceMobile, informed the government that they will conduct space-based cellular broadband testing.
PLDT Group met with the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission to express their support for the government’s overall thrust to provide connectivity to Filipinos across the country, including those in far-flung areas.
Smart and AST SpaceMobile presented their plans to conduct tests of AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 satellite, which is being designed to communicate directly with unmodified mobile phones from low Earth orbit satellite. Smart will be the first to test this technology in the Philippines.
“The digital divide is a massive concern that was further highlighted by the restrictions brought about by the pandemic. Given our country’s archipelagic nature, deploying typical terrestrial broadband infrastructure across the Philippines has been a challenge, especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas,” DICT acting Secretary Emmanuel Rey Caintic said.