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Converge still open to partnership with Starlink

CONVERGE ICT Solutions, Inc. (Converge) said it is still open to signing a partnership agreement with Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) which operates Starlink for the installation of satellite connectivity in unserved areas.

“Pwede pa kami mag-marketing agreement kasi meron pa kaming mga areas na hindi ma-serve ng fiber na pwedeng lagyan ng satellite,” Converge Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Anthony H. Uy said.

(We can still forge a marketing agreement because there are still areas that cannot be served with fiber internet that can make use of satellite).

Mr. Uy made the statement after he shared that the company is doing a demo of its military satellite from Washington-based satellite communications company Kymeta Corp.

“Wala naman issue kasi they complement each other (I don’t think there will be an issue as they complement each other,” he added.

Mr. Uy said that the company saw a demand for satellite communication technology as it allows stable connectivity even in the middle of the sea.

“We are so happy because we have some of the fishermen who go to Solomon Islands who previously used old technology, but when they saw our technology, 40 vessels wanted to sign up,” he said.

“This is more for a ‘niche market.’ The satellite is very expensive and that is why it cannot compete with fiber. Its usage is totally different but there’s still a market,” he added.

Satellite communication technology is said to be valuable for disaster and military operations. However, it is expensive at $5,000 a month, according to Mr. Uy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Uy said that the company recorded an increase in its nationwide household coverage in the first three months of the year.

“I think we are reaching close to 8 million ports and 16 million homes passed already. Right now, we have 25 million houses, so more or less we are reaching almost 60%,” he said.

“We built ahead of schedule. Our competitors were actually surprised because we build fast. And this is because we do the work ourselves instead of outsourcing,” he added.

Mr. Uy said that the company will be looking into the low-income segment “because there are still segments that we haven’t been into.”

By the end of 2022, Converge’s port count was approximately 7.9 million, which represented a 56.2% nationwide household coverage. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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