Palau National Telecommunications Corporation (PNCC) will launch the first “device to satellite” services in Sonsorol State this June 21st, with scheduled plans to add on Hatohobei State by December 2023. The service will expand to cover the entire Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by Q1 2024.
The “device to satellite” service will allow the people in Sonsorol to use their regular mobile phones to receive and send messages directly through satellites with no earth station or ground infrastructure required, said PNCC CEO Simon Frazer.
PNCC CEO Fraser revealed that PNCC had partnered with Lynk Global, a company that has developed “a satellite-to-mobile-phone satellite constellation, a first of its kind,” to provide services to areas without access to terrestrial telecommunications infrastructures.
“First and foremost this project is intended to connect customers who are outside of terrestrial network coverage, starting with the Southwest Islands. Our mission is to serve all Palauans with the same level of world-class connectivity regardless of their location, and the partnership with Lynk Global is one of the tools we are using to extend our coverage. Coverage with Lynk will increase as more satellites are launched to cover all of Palau’s EEZ by the end of 2024,” PNCC CEO Fraser said in response to an Island Times query.
Any customer with a PNCC sim card will be able to access this service, which will cost .20 cents per SMS, and as more satellites are launched, the coverage area will expand, added Fraser.
The service was tested over the past nine months by PNCC and Lynk Global teams and is now ready for rollout.
PNCC and Lynk Global representatives will host the launch event at PNCC HQ in Airai on Wednesday, June 21st, to mark the beginning of the new service.