Angkasa-X, Silkwave prep ASEAN space tech hub in Penang

The Angkasa-X group 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.

Angkasa-X executive chairman and CEO Sean Seah said that in partnership with Silkwave Holdings that currently operates two GEO-satellite platforms, they also want to nurture Penang into a supply chain and distribution hub for global satellite technologies for the ASEAN markets.

Silkwave is a subsidiary of CMMB Vision Holdings that is traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and which engages in the provision of media and transmission services.

Seah 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 Seah.

Angkasa-X and Silkwave signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint-venture strategic partnership to develop the world’s first Geostationary (GEO) – Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) integrated satellite network and service platform for ASEAN communities.

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.

GEO satellites circle the Earth above the equator following the Earth’s rotation at an altitude of 35,786 kilometres. 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 Seah.

Besides building a GEO-LEO converged satellite infrastructure to provide Satellite-as-a-Service to ASEAN countries, the partnership would also result in deploying trial satellite-service rollout in Malaysia to accelerate regional commercial rollouts.

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.