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Globe Signs MOU with AST SpaceMobile for Space-Based Cellular Broadband Connectivity
Looks to expand coverage to unserved and remote rural areas
Globe is collaborating with AST SpaceMobile Inc., which is building the world's first space-based cellular broadband network, to explore further expansion of services across the Philippines using cutting-edge satellite technology.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the implementation of the planned AST SpaceMobile cellular broadband service in the Philippines.
Once launched, AST SpaceMobile aims to provide the first satellite broadband service directly to standard mobile phones in the country. Globe’s collaboration with AST SpaceMobile will enable its telecom services to cover areas beyond the reach of land-based cell towers.
The space-based cellular broadband service is being designed to offer voice, video, data and internet access via 2G, 4G/LTE and 5G signals helping to also provide connectivity during times of crisis including disasters and emergencies.
“Globe has always been a pioneer in bringing first-to-market digital solutions to empower Filipinos. This collaboration is another step in Globe's continuing initiatives to provide digital connectivity to remote rural communities as part of its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It is our mission to enable inclusive economic growth and provide quality education and e-health even in remote and still unconnected rural communities," said Gerhard Tan, Globe’s Network Strategy and Technology Enablement Director.
“Space-based broadband, otherwise known as Global Mobile Personal Communications Services, or GMPCS, is the new frontier in connectivity. We are proud to take the first step towards the adoption of this planned breakthrough technology that could address the need for reliable and practical mobile broadband connectivity, especially in geographically isolated and connectivity-challenged areas in the Philippines,” he said.
Globe’s collaboration with AST SpaceMobile is part of its aggressive expansion to boost service across the country and deliver a #1stWorldNetwork. It is in talks with several cutting-edge technology companies to find, assess and evaluate new emerging technologies to sustain Globe's industry leadership and competitiveness.
This year, it earmarked CAPEX of P89 billion (US $1.7 billion) to fortify its infrastructure, including new cell site builds, upgrades to 4G/LTE and 5G rollout acceleration, and expedited fiberization of households across the country.
Last year, Globe built 1,407 new cell sites, including 4G/LTE and 5G. It also upgraded 22,300 mobile sites and installed over 2,000 5G outdoor sites and in-building solutions.
Globe’s expansion is part of its efforts to support Filipinos’ digital enablement, aligned with its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly UN SDG No. 9, which highlights the role of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development.