Globe Telecom and Lynk Global to Launch Direct-to-Cellular (D2C) Services in the Philippines… What Are the Commercial Prospects for D2C & Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) Deployments?

Subscribe To Download This Insight

By Victor Xu | 3Q 2024 | IN-7440

In June 2024, Globe Telecom, one of the largest mobile operators in the Philippines, announced a partnership with satellite Direct-to-Cellular (D2C) operator Lynk to launch a live customer pilot program aimed at evaluating the potential of D2C Satellite Communications (SatCom) services in remote areas of the Philippines. This ABI Insight will provide an overview of the partnership, the potential impact of Lynk’s D2C SatCom services, and the commercial prospects of the D2C & Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN)-mobile market.

Registered users can unlock up to five pieces of premium content each month.

Log in or register to unlock this Insight.


Globe and Lynk Forge Alliance to Bring D2C SatCom Connectivity to the Philippines Archipelago


Globe Telecom has partnered with Lynk Global to pilot Direct-to-Cellular (D2C) Satellite Communications (SatCom) services in the Philippines, with the goal of improving connectivity in remote areas. The collaboration will run until June 2025, with initial testing in Zambales, Pangasinan, Siargao, and Leyte. This initiative will use Lynk’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites to deliver emergency alerts and text messages where terrestrial networks are inadequate. The service aims to enhance connectivity for enterprises, government agencies, disaster zones, and the tourist and maritime sectors, supporting Globe's mission to bridge the digital divide in the archipelago.

Lynk's D2C SatCom service uses innovative space technology to provide mobile connectivity to remote areas. Its satellites act as "cell-towers-in-space," delivering GSM and LTE connectivity using existing terrestrial cellular frequencies in the 617 – 960 Megahertz (MHz) range. These satellites allow mobile phones to seamlessly switch between terrestrial towers and satellite coverage. Lynk has Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approval to operate in specific frequency bands and currently uses Ka-band (20 – 30 Gigahertz (GHz)), S-band (2 – 4 GHz), and sub-GHz Radio Frequencies (RFs) (400 – 900 MHz) to route cellular traffic. The company aims to expand its current three-satellite constellation to over 50 by the end of 2024, with a long-term goal of around 5,000 satellites.

The Impact of D2C SatCom Services in the Philippines


The collaboration between Globe Telecom and Lynk Global to launch D2C SatCom services in the Philippines is set to have a significant impact on connectivity, particularly in remote and underserved areas. Here are the key impacts:

Enhanced Connectivity across the Archipelago

The Philippines, with its archipelago of over 7,600 islands, faces significant challenges in providing consistent and reliable communication services due to its dispersed geography. Traditional terrestrial networks often struggle to cover all these isolated locations. D2C SatCom services will bridge this gap by delivering mobile coverage directly from Lynk’s satellites, ensuring that even the most remote islands can access essential communication services like Short Messaging Services (SMS), Internet Protocol (IP) messaging apps, and emergency alerts. This will connect more people in more places, enhance social inclusion, and reduce the digital divide in the Philippines.

Improved Disaster Response and Emergency Services

The Philippines is highly disaster-prone, facing seismic, volcanic, and severe typhoon risks due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. On average, it endures 20 typhoons annually, many of which are highly destructive. The introduction of D2C SatCom services by Globe Telecom and Lynk offers a transformative solution for disaster response and emergency services. The SatCom technology will ensure that even in the aftermath of disasters, affected areas can maintain vital connections to facilitate timely emergency alerts and coordination of rescue efforts, and provide essential information to enhance disaster preparedness and response capabilities throughout the Philippines.

Support for Maritime and Fishing Industries

The maritime and fishing industries, which are vital to the Philippines’ economy, will benefit significantly from reliable communication channels provided by SatCom services, as these industries often operate in areas where traditional terrestrial networks are unavailable. SatCom can improve safety, operational efficiency, and coordination for maritime and fishing activities in the Philippines and ensure that these sectors can operate more effectively and securely.

The Growth Trajectory of the D2C & NTN Market


The potential convergence of satellite and terrestrial mobile networks is set to revolutionize the telecommunications landscape. This transformation is expected to drive significant market growth in the D2C and NTN segments. ABI Research forecasts that these segments in the Asia-Pacific region will reach a market size of over US$6.5 billion by 2032, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 49.5%. For more details, refer to ABI Research's Satellite Communications: Direct-to-Cellular & NTN Deployments & Subscriptions market data (MD-SATCN-101).

ABI Research offers two key recommendations for Globe Telecom to optimize growth and tap into the growing demand for SatCom connectivity:

  • Expand Coverage Strategically: The Philippines, with its 7,641 islands, has many areas that lack reliable terrestrial network coverage. By prioritizing these underserved regions, Globe Telecom can ensure that the most disconnected communities gain access to essential communication services. To this end, Globe Telecom could conduct detailed mapping and analysis to identify the most underserved areas and use these data to prioritize deployment. This will maximize the impact and demonstrate the value of the D2C SatCom service. Additionally, Globe Telecom could also work with the local Philippines governments and community leaders to better understand the specific needs and challenges, ensuring that the service deployment would be tailored to local conditions.
  • Focus on Disaster Preparedness: Given the Philippines' susceptibility to natural disasters, Globe Telecom and government disaster response agencies should prioritize integrating SatCom into disaster preparedness and response strategies. This includes establishing clear guidelines for emergency responders and ensuring that SatCom systems are integrated into national disaster response frameworks. Government disaster response agencies could consider conducting regular drills and training sessions for emergency personnel to ensure that they are proficient in using SatCom tools during crises, and public awareness campaigns could be conducted to educate communities about the availability and use of SatCom during emergencies.

By following these recommendations, Globe Telecom would be able to maximize the benefits of D2C SatCom services in the Philippines, ultimately enhancing connectivity and disaster resilience across the archipelago.


Companies Mentioned