Angkasa-X partners with Silkwave and with the support of Bank of Asia aims to develop Penang as ASEAN's regional space technology ecosystem hub
PENANG, MALAYSIA - Media OutReach - 11 August 2021 -The
Angkasa-X Group of Companies (Angkasa-X)
has announced plans to transform Penang into a regional space technology ecosystem
hub to further foster local innovation, technology transfer while also enabling
jobs and opportunities throughout Malaysia.
chairman & CEO Dr Sean Seah (centre) with Silkwave and CMMB chairman & CEO
Charles Wong (left) and Bank of Asia founder & chairman Carson Wen (right).
Its executive chairman and CEO Dr Sean Seah said that Angkasa-X,
in partnership with Silkwave
Holdings Limited (Silkwave) that
currently operates two GEO-satellite platforms, is set to establish a space technology ecosystem in Penang and to nurture the
state into a supply chain and distribution hub for global satellite
technologies for the ASEAN markets.
Sean said that the Penang space technology ecosystem would also encompass key satellite industries and academic institutions, with a
focus on research and development, coupled with intellectual property creation
of next-generation satellite technologies and applications customised
specifically for ASEAN.
"In our efforts to further boost the space technology ecosystem
in Penang, we would also be seeking support from Hong Kong to recruit global
satellite technology providers to establish their research and development and localisation
centres in Penang for low-tariff market access to other ASEAN countries," said
He was speaking after a Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) between Angkasa-X and Silkwave to establish
joint-venture strategic partnership to develop the world's first Geostationary (GEO)- Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) integrated satellite network and service platform for
Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow described the
partnership as an 'innovative breakthrough' for the state: "I would like to
congratulate both Angkasa-X and Silkwave for this collaboration which is
expected to further elevate the liveability stature of Penang,
one of the key goals of Penang 2030."
"Penang's strong talent pool has long been a key driver in the
state's success in attracting strategic investments, especially in selected
niche industries," said Chow.
"Penang has attracted strategic investments in the past years,
which translated into creating thousands of high-quality job opportunities.
With this strategic effort to transform Penang into a regional space technology
ecosystem hub, it is set to attract more FDIs (foreign direct investments) into
Penang," added the chief minister.
From Jan-2019 to Mar-2020, Penang attracted RM24 billion of
manufacturing investment inflows, out of which, 90% are from the electrical and
electronics, equipment and medical technology industries.
Particularly, Penang FDI accounted for 34% of Malaysia's total FDI
during the period, underscoring the State's role in driving the country's
participation in the global supply chain, as well as MNCs' continued confidence
in the state as a conducive and sustainable investment destination.
This GEO-LEO integrated satellite platform serves to
address the region's varying needs in Internet connectivity, multimedia
infotainment, vehicle-connected services, precision tracking and navigation,
environmental monitoring and surveillance, and accelerating digital
transformation to grow the digital economy for all communities in the ASEAN
GEO satellites circle
the Earth above the equator following the Earth's rotation at an altitude of 35,786
km, while LEO satellites are normally rotate in Earth orbits of around 1,000 km
but could be as low as 400 km above the surface of the earth.
"This partnership is set to accelerate the ASEAN
countries into becoming full-fledged and advanced digital economies, while
enabling Angkasa-X and Silkwave to become ASEAN's first GEO-LEO satellite
services operator through the 'A-SEANLINK Satellite Constellation'," said Sean,
who also serves as the deputy chairman of both the Malaysian National Tech Association
(PIKOM) and The World Information
Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).
Although the 11 ASEAN countries today has a population
estimated at 675 million people, it is estimate that over 50% or some 350
million people living in remote rural areas have inadequate or no Internet
"Even in most cities, Internet access is widely
under-provided, as it is plagued by insufficient bandwidth, high infrastructure
cost, poor coverage, and expensive data charge," said Silkwave chairman and CEO
"The inadequate Internet service is a major bottleneck
hindering the region's digital economic transformation. Satellite Internet is
seen as the most effective and ease to deploy solution to alleviate such
problems and to further narrow the digital divide with developed countries,"
added Charles, who is also chairman and CEO of Silkwave's parent company CMMB.
Besides building a GEO-LEO converged satellite
infrastructure to provide Satellite-As-A-Service (SAAS) to ASEAN countries, the
partnership would also result in deploying trial satellite-service rollout in
Malaysia to accelerate regional commercial rollouts.
Both companies would also be marketing the combined
products and services under a joint service provider agreement to effectively
penetrate the ASEAN economies.
Under the MoU, Angkasa-X and Silkwave are also aiming
to create the ASEAN-Greater Bay Area Space-Satellite Industry Alliance to
accelerate technology and investment transfer to develop the ASEAN region as
one of the world's largest satellite markets.
"The partnership is the first between a
GEO and a LEO platform, which will bring about unprecedented synergies such as
universal connectivity along with abundant low-cost and innovative infotainment
and broadband data services to mass-market consumers throughout the ASEAN
region," explained Charles.
"It is set to usher in a new era of
digital transformation for ASEAN, which see the region leapfrog into becoming
one of the largest and most advanced satellite service markets in the world."
On the funding part, the Bank of Asia (BOA), licensed
and regulated by the authorities of the British Virgin Islands, has been appointed as the global financial advisor for outreach to investors
from ASEAN, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and the United States of
America. BOA is involved in the consummation and further fund raising for
Angkasa-X and Silkwave developments. Together with its partners, BOA is
creating a 'Space Fund' in Hong Kong to invest in Angkasa-X, Silkwave and other
space technology development projects in Asia.
Meanwhile, Bank of Asia chairman Carson
Wen said: "Bank of Asia is very privileged to be involved in the Angkasa-X and
Silkwave joint venture, and we are very excited with the huge 'blue ocean'
ahead while also playing our part for underserved communities."
"This is the coming together of
like-minded people with the expertise, resources and commitment to provide
connectivity, infotainment and other valuable satellite-services to the ASEAN
population and enterprises at large," added Carson.
ANGKASA-Xis a Technological-social Inclusion Company that strives to provide
Internet Connectivity as a Necessity for the betterment of mankind. It consists
of a group of companies investing in research & development, IP creation,
technology & components sourcing, assembly-integration-testing, launching
and maintaining state-of-the-art Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) satellites. By offering
an innovative Satellite-as-a-Service (SaaS) to countries in ASEAN, Angkasa-X's
mission is to provide satellite internet-connectivity and other services to
remote rural areas in the countries in ASEAN and neighbouring countries to
establish ASEAN Space Economy via the formation of A-SEANLINK LEO Satellites
Constellation. Angkasa-X plans to raise funds from the global capital market to
invest and operate A-SEANLINK LEO Satellite Constellation. It aspires to be a
Unicorn and the number one unique company for LEO satellite-based Internet
services in ASEAN region. For more information on the company, please visit http://www.angkasax-innovation.com
a member of SILKWAVE Holdings and its affiliate CMMB Vision Holdings Limited, is
the world's first dedicated mobile multimedia infotainment and application
provider that combines mobile satellite broadcasting with terrestrial cellular
connectivity via Converged™ technology to deliver high-quality, low-cost, live,
and on-demand multimedia and data services. It has a Geosynchronous Earth Orbit
(GEO) satellite platform over Asia and developed end-to-end ecosystem support.
CMMB Vision is a Hong Kong main board listed company and a digital multimedia
and satellite service and application provider holding 20% stake of SILKWAVE
and is its de facto management. For more information on the company, please
visit http://www.silkwaves.com .