Globe, Lynk complete first-ever LEO satellite to mobile trial in the Philippines
Globe Telecom has become the first country in the Philippines to test low earth orbit (LEO) satellite connectivity for short messaging service (SMS) and emergency alerts in partnership with Lynk Global.
During a 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.
The breakthrough is expected to augment Globe’s existing terrestrial networks and will provide cellular connectivity to more Filipinos in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
“Globe is exploring new satellite technology solutions to reach more people, especially in far-flung areas that do not have any terrestrial network coverage,” said Gerhard Tan, director and head of network strategy and technology enablement at Globe.
“There are still places within the archipelago where people can benefit from additional mobile coverage.”
In April of this year, Lynk will launch its global commercial service providing period SMS services and cellular broadcast emergency alerts that are roaming-like from a network and user perspective.
Over time, Lynk’s service will become more seamless and add more services such as app-based messaging, voice and data.
James Alderdice, VP, Asia-Pacific at Lynk added: “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.”
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.
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.