SES S.A., a Luxembourg-based satellite communications services provider, said on Wednesday that it will bring more advanced satellite technology to the Philippines next year to aid the country’s digitalization efforts.

The company’s “Second-Generation Medium Earth Orbit Satellites,” or O3b mPOWER, will be “available in the Philippines in 2023,” Rob Marabut, business development director at SES, said during a virtual press briefing.

He said this technology will support a variety of requirements from major sectors such as mobile network operators, government, maritime, and mining, among others.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines has the second-highest number of internet users at 79 million next to Indonesia’s 171.2 million, Jose del Rosario, research director at Northern Sky Research, said during his presentation.

The Philippines is “quite good” in terms of internet penetration at 72.1%, but requirements per user are increasing, Mr. Del Rosario said.

“Why satellites? It’s part of everyday life and there are tremendous benefits to mankind.”

Among these benefits are “instant infrastructure, robust and reliable infrastructure, and it is the only viable solution in underserved and remote locations,” he added.

According to SES, its O3b mPOWER has “fiber-like speeds,” which will “enable the delivery of cloud computing applications and services to power digital inclusion, while connecting communities and industries regardless of the remoteness of their location.”

“When its services become available in early 2023, O3b mPOWER’s reliable and fiber-like connectivity will play a key role in driving commercial and economic developments throughout the Philippines,” it added.

Mr. Del Rosario expects that the Philippines will create a robust and thriving space industry to support the country’s space program through private sector involvement and cooperation.

According to its website, SES, which supplies video and data connectivity worldwide, has over 70 satellites in two different orbits. It is serving one billion television viewers, seven out of the top 10 global telecom companies, four out of the world’s six major cruise liners, and 58 government organizations. — Arjay L. Balinbin