SpaceX launch of PHL operations expected to be delayed past June

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Reuters

THE LAUNCH of the IfThe first gateway connecting the Philippines to the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. satellite network. (SpaceX) has been delayed beyond June, as the company has not yet Ifrm up the site for its gateway, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said.

Commerce Secretary Ramon M. Lopez told reporters on the sidelines of the recently concluded manufacturing summit that SpaceX’s Philippine launch schedule, which is controlled by Elon Musk, has exceeded the original target, which was sometimes in the term of the president. Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The gateway connects internet service to satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), a network known as Starlink, also operated by SpaceX.

“(The first gateway) may not happen (by the end of the presidential term),” Lopez said, noting that the site and construction plans have not been finalized.

Mr. Lopez could not give an estimate for SpaceX’s investment, saying the company made no such disclosure.

The DTI had estimated that the IfThe first SpaceX Gateway will be operational before President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s term ends on June 30.

He added that SpaceX’s entry was accelerated by the passage of amendments to the Public Service Act (PSA), which relaxed restrictions on full foreign ownership of telecommunications, shipping, transportation air, rail and metro. These industries were previously subject to a 40% foreign ownership cap under the 1987 Constitution.

Separately, Mr Lopez also told reporters that the private sector-led Center for ArtiIfcial Intelligence, which has benefited from financing of around 20 million dollars, will be inaugurated in the second half of the year.

For budgetary reasons, “we decided to make it private sector led. Our partners have just decided to inaugurate the center towards the second half of this year,” Mr. Lopez said.

An earlier schedule for the launch of the center also slipped due to the impact of national elections.

“It’s a center that can help scale and push more innovation, use AI tools for companies to really improve their competitiveness. At the same time, it can create more exposure for our data scientists, those trained in AI and data science readiness…will have a (place) to excel (for the benefit of) the industry and improve innovation,” Lopez said. . — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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