Chavit-led group seeks portable WiFi project

Published November 6, 2018, 4:24 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Mar Supnad

VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur- Former governor Chavit Singson, chairman of LCS group of companies, is partnering with a foreign group to install a satellite-based nationwide broadband system.

LCS and TierOne Consortium through its representative Jonathon Bentley-Strvens, announced it has entered into an agreement to buy into an operator of next-generation high throughput broadband satellites.

“Since only our company has its own satellite, every corner of the country, even in the remotest barangays will have access to the internet, using portable wifi,” Singson said.

He said TierOne can provide the entire archipelago access to satellite-based broadband – at much lower cost. “For example, a user is paying P100, we’ll only charge him P5,” said Singson.

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) is set to bid the country’s third telco today, Wednesday, and Singson said their company is the most qualified among the 10 bidders.

“This is definitely a game-changer,” he said.

Ed Millana, president of consortium partner Millawave Systems, which owns and operates a teleport, and delivers satellite communications services, described why the satellite is the key for broadband delivery.

According to Millana, their soon-to-launch high-throughput broadband satellite will offer 1.3Gbps of bandwidth per transponder capable of delivering up to 100mbps.

“Once launched, our high throughput broadband satellite will offer instant coverage; think of it as a ready network while we rollout the domestic undersea cable backbone, which we still will be largely reliant on – satellite still cannot compare to fiber in terms of capacity and latency, but it’s definitely the most expedient way to connect our entire archipelago” he said.

Bandwidth from the broadband satellite will be accessed by the LCS –TierOne Consortium’s portable cell sites, called Telcos-In-A-Box – modified, quick-deployable, solar-powered cargo containers with satellite transceivers, WiFi and LTE Radio Access, and retail sales sections – for distribution to surrounding subscribers.

Bentley-Stevens added that satellite-enabled Telcos-In-A-Box will be offered to Filipinos as franchises, democratizing the ownership and delivery of telecommunications services across the country.

“We are 7641 islands, we cannot be running a telco the way it’s been run in the past – we have to rely on new technology like broadband satellite for coverage and on our fellow Filipinos for distribution,” Singson said.

The LCS-TierOne consortium has described itself as a telecommunications ecosystem, with members covering various facets of the business, including engineering, value-added services, and device manufacturing; as well as network services, small-cell antenna manufacture, and tower provision.