London, 20 July 2023.- Astranis, an American space-based internet start-up, has signed a new deal to launch and operate a dedicated satellite for the Philippines which will provide enough bandwidth to connect up to 2 million people.
The company is partnering with satellite services provider Orbits Corp, which will buy the capacity with its sister company HTechCorp, a Philippine internet service provider (ISP). The financial details of the contract have not been disclosed.
“There are over 20 typhoons in the Philippines every year, and given the archipelago’s position in the Ring of Fire, other natural disasters often test the resolve of Filipinos, whether they live in Metro Manila or a rural community like Barangay Caagutayan,” said John Gedmark, Astranis CEO. “Fiber lines flood; microwave towers fall over; and often the entire country is left to rely on satellite internet services to remain connected and safe.”
Astranis’ “microGEO” satellite intends to launch in 2024 to provide a solution to issues faced by the Philippines. Astranis operates relatively small satellites at geosynchronous orbit, which is around 22,000 miles above the Earth’s surface. The benefit of this orbit is that the satellites stay in a fixed position relative to wherever they are pointing, meaning a single satellite can provide continuous access to a large geographical area.
Astranis partners with local telecommunications and internet service providers and sells broadband capacity, rather than single subscriptions. As a result, their broadband is just as likely to be used to connect hospitals, schools, and industrial centres as individual devices.
Astranis plans on launching four more satellites before the end of this year in a batch that includes the satellite for Peru and two satellites for North American customer Anuvu.