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SpaceX has filed a request to the South Korean authorities to set up Starlink in the country. Photo: Handout

SpaceX files papers in South Korea to launch Starlink satellite service

  • The company has filed registration papers with the Ministry of Science and ICT
  • Starlink’s website says its service will be available in South Korea in the second quarter of this year
South Korea

Elon Musk’s company SpaceX has filed registration papers with South Korean authorities to launch its satellite-powered internet service Starlink in the country, Yonhap reported on Friday, citing sources.

The rocket company, which is expected to set up a subsidiary in South Korea to qualify for registration, filed the request with the country’s Ministry of Science and ICT earlier this month to roll out the service, the report said.

SpaceX and the ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Starlink’s website says its service will be available in South Korea in the second quarter of this year.

In October, Starlink expanded into the Philippines by offering satellite broadband service to businesses and the government.

Local partner Data Lake, a Philippine-based firm partly owned by tycoon Henry Sy Jnr, said it signed a deal to be the first partner of SpaceX’s Starlink in Southeast Asia.

SpaceX partners with Philippine tycoon for satellite service

That was good news for The Philippines, which has one of the worst internet connections in the world, yet one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the region at 138 per cent.

Starlink uses a network of thousands of satellites to provide internet access to far-flung regions or when communications are disrupted during natural disasters.

SpaceX activated Starlink over Ukraine after Russia’s invasion in February and has since provided Kyiv with thousands of terminals, allowing locals to hook up to the internet in places out of reach of the domestic telecoms system.

Starlink is one of a growing number of makers of small satellites that also includes Amazon’s Kuiper, Britain’s OneWeb, venture capital-backed Planet, and Raytheon Technologies Corp’s Blue Canyon Technologies.