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Musk's Starlink Satellite's Role In Ukraine War Inspires Taiwan To Thwart Potential China Attack

Benzinga · 01/06/2023 08:25
  • Taiwan courted investors to help it establish its satellite communications provider to brace itself against a potential assault from China.
  • Taiwan is in initial talks with several domestic and international investors to raise funds for the project, which the country's space agency TASA wants to spin out of an existing satellite division, Financial Times reports.
  • Elon Musk's SpaceX-operated Starlink's role in the Ukraine war inspired Taiwan to move.
  •  "We are going to spin our low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications project off into a company," said a TASA senior official. The government aspired to retain a significant minority stake in the venture.
  • Beijing claims Taiwan is part of its territory and has threatened to use force to bring the country under its control.
  • Taiwan aimed to facilitate societal resilience, to help journalists send videos to international viewers even during a large-scale disaster, Audrey Tang, Taiwan's digital minister, said. 
  • The system would also support telephoning and videoconferencing akin to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy's daily addresses.
  • Tang said it would take "a few years" for TASA's planned service to start operating. The ministry also trialed non-geostationary satellite receivers in 700 locations around Taiwan to guarantee bandwidth in the event of war or disasters.
  • Gartner highlighted the industry's attractiveness with several existing participants financially struggling and ultimately boiling down to just four or five global providers limited by their moat.
  • Other industry insiders suggested that the non-geostationary satellite market could allow several smaller countries to play a role by operating their constellations.
  • TASA's LEO project worked with Taiwanese start-ups like Tron Future Tech and Rapidtek to develop specialized phased array antennas and transmitters.
  • Taiwan remains open to working with other providers and wants to work with as many of them concurrently.