Globe and Lynk make history with the first-ever LEO satellite-to-cellular connectivity test in the Philippines, Access Evolution

Leading platform for digital solutions, Globe made history by being the first in the country to offer connectivity from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites for Short Messaging Service (SMS) and emergency alerts in partnership with global company Lynk Global has tested.

During the field trial, which took place February 16-20, 2023 in Bataan, standard mobile phones were connected directly to Lynk’s LEO satellites and text messages were successfully sent and received. The satellite was also able to send an emergency message to phones registered on the Lynk network.

This breakthrough technology is expected to expand Globe’s existing terrestrial networks and bring cellular connectivity to more Filipinos in geographically remote and disadvantaged areas.

In April this year, Lynk will launch its global commercial service, providing periodic SMS services and emergency notifications over mobile phones that are roaming-like from a network and user perspective. Over time, Lynk’s service will become seamless, adding more services like app-based messaging, voice, and data.

“Globe is exploring new satellite technology solutions to reach more people, especially in remote areas that lack terrestrial network coverage. There are still places within the archipelago where people can benefit from additional cellular coverage,” said Gerhard Tan, Globe’s director and head of network strategy and technology enablement.

“At Lynk, we believe people should be able to communicate with their cell phones no matter where they are or how far away they are. Our network of satellites, acting as cell towers in space, paves the way for Globe to improve mobile coverage of the Philippines,” added James Alderdice, VP, Asia Pacific at Lynk.

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The two companies signed an agreement last year to allow Globe to experience the innovative aspect of the service, specifically the ability for unmodified standard phones to communicate with an orbiting LEO satellite acting as a mobile base station.

“Low Earth orbit satellites will dominate the space industry. It will create a powerful surge of opportunities to connect the unconnected. This satellite technology will revolutionize the basic cellular service and internet in the country and enable a digitally connected Philippines,” said Tan.

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 additional cellular coverage to cellular operators and their subscribers.