Nearly a year after the company announced the collaboration, Smart revealed on Thursday its plan to test the satellite broadband technology built by its partner AST SpaceMobile.
In a virtual meeting with AST SpaceMobile, along with the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission, Smart showed its plans to test its partner’s BlueWalker 3 low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite that’s capable of direct communication with unmodified mobile phones.
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Smart claims to be the first in the Philippines to test this technology. The company aims to address the digital divide in the Philippines, where a substantial portion of the population remains without reliable broadband connectivity.
Smart’s head of regulatory affairs Atty. Roy Ibay said during the meeting that LEO satellites were an “excellent addition” to the company solution set for providing cellular connectivity.
Globe Telecom also has a similar partnership with AST SpaceMobile for its own take on providing space-based broadband services in the country