Smart Communications has partnered with AST SpaceMobile, a US-based company that builds a network of satellites for a space-based broadband network, to look into providing satellite-to-smartphone broadband services in the Philippines.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday, a starting point from which Smart will search for opportunities to provide SpaceMobile services to customers in far-flung locations. Usually, these locations are deprived of connectivity due to infrastructure challenges, which is why wireless technologies are the more practical solutions.


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Per AST SpaceMobile chief executive officer Abel Avellan, the collaboration will allow Smart to “offer affordable broadband cellular access to the unconnected for the first time ever.” The collaboration will also serve Smart’s existing subscribers, estimated to be around 70 million.

Smart CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio remarked that this partnership will help achieve the company’s mission to expand its services across the 7,000 islands in the country, to ensure that no one is left behind.

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