Philippines-based Smart Communications advanced its efforts to deliver connectivity from space, tapping US-based Omnispace to explore the potential to provide 5G services.
Smart Communications and Omnispace stated they will look into the potential of a pair of low Earth orbit (LEO) birds the US company launched earlier this year to deliver 5G services across a range of sectors.
Arvin Siena, head of Smart Communications’ parent PLDT’s technology strategy and transformation office, explained delivering 5G to remote areas of the Philippines is one aspect of the companies’ work.
Other elements include IoT connectivity for weather sensors and boosting existing coverage as part of disaster recovery efforts.
Siena noted the collaboration is “part of PLDT’s broader initiatives to future-proof our services” using Omnispace’s “3GPP-compliant 5G non-terrestrial network”.
The LEO service will complement Smart Communications ground-based 4G and 5G networks, the companies explained.
In 2021, the operator penned a deal with AST SpaceMobile covering provision of satellite-based mobile broadband services in rural areas of the Philippines.
Like AST SpaceMobile, Omnispace pitches itself on the ability of its satellites to work with non-specialist devices through collaborations with mobile operators.