MANILA – Global communications firm OneWeb will test its satellite internet services in select remote areas in the country, the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) announced on Thursday.

Through PhilSA's INCENTIVISE (Introducing Non-Geostationary Satellite Constellations Test Deployments to Improve Internet Service) project, it has approved OneWeb's proposal to test the high throughput and low latency capability of their satellite broadband constellation, on a temporary and non-commercial basis.

INCENTIVISE project is an open call to non-geostationary orbit (NGSO) satellite internet operators (SIOs) to conduct test deployments in the Philippines, ahead of a possible full commercial service. This would allow the performance and viability of their new and advanced technologies to be demonstrated, experienced, and assessed ahead of planned or scheduled commercial service.

Earlier, PhilSA Space Business Development Division chief Agnes Bonafe said compared to fiber connectivity, satellite broadband exhibits a wide coverage, allowing connectivity to reach the rural areas.

OneWeb now has over 390 low earth orbit (LEO) satellites. PhilSA said they are now discussing with OneWeb details such as technical documentary requirements and logistics and test deployments, as well as the timeline and proposed implementation sites.

Entry and deployment of satellite user terminals and/or gateway equipment to allow access to LEO and MEO (medium earth orbit) satellites to establish broadband internet connection will be facilitated under the INCENTIVISE project.

PhilSA has yet to announce the target start of the test, as well as the estimated number of rural areas that will benefit from the project.

Earlier, PhilSA Director Joel Marciano Jr. said INCENTIVISE is expected to expand market entry and access to additional internet players that can help bridge the country’s digital divide.

INCENTIVISE is being co-implemented with the Department of Science and Technology - Advanced Science and Technology Institute. (PNA)