Leading digital solutions platform Globe has made history by becoming the first company in the country to test Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite connectivity for Short Messaging Service (SMS) and emergency alerts in partnership with global firm Lynk Global.
During the field trial, which took place in Bataan from February 16 to 20, 2023, standard mobile phones connected directly to Lynk’s LEO satellites and successfully sent and received text messages. The satellite was also able to broadcast an emergency message to the phones registered to the Lynk network.
This breakthrough technology is expected to augment Globe’s existing terrestrial networks and provide cellular connectivity to more Filipinos in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
In April of this year, Lynk will launch its global commercial service providing periodic SMS services and cellular broadcast emergency alerts that are roaming-like from a network and user perspective. Over time, Lynk’s service will become seamless and add more services, such as app-based messaging, voice, and data.
“Globe is exploring new satellite technology solutions to reach more people, especially in far-flung areas that do not have any terrestrial network coverage. There are still places within the archipelago where people can benefit from additional mobile coverage,” said Gerhard Tan, Director and Head of Network Strategy and Technology Enablement at Globe.
“At Lynk, we believe that people should be able to use their mobile phones to communicate no matter their location and no matter how remote. Our network of satellites that work as cell towers in space paves the way for Globe to enhance their mobile coverage of the Philippines,” added James Alderdice, VP, Asia-Pacific at Lynk.
The two companies signed an agreement last year for Globe to experience the innovative aspect of the service, specifically the ability for standard unmodified phones to communicate with an LEO satellite in orbit acting as a mobile base station.
“Low Earth Orbit Satellites will dominate the space industry. It will create a strong wave of opportunity to connect the unconnected. This satellite technology will revolutionize basic cellular service and the internet in the country, enabling a digitally-connected Philippines,” Tan said.
Lynk has been working on the technology and satellite service for over five years and has launched several LEO satellites with direct-to-mobile phone service to offer mobile operators and their subscribers additional coverage for cellular connectivity.