By Kelvin Chen, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Taiwan is seeking to launch its own satellite communications system, having seen the success of Elon Musk’s Starlink in Ukraine.
The nation is discussing funding with some domestic and international investors, including Draper Associates, Financial Times reported. The endeavor is part of Taiwan’s strategy to form a resilient communications network that could withstand a Chinese invasion.
“We look at the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how Starlink has been used very successfully,” Financial Times quoted Taiwan’s minister of digital affairs, Audrey Tang, as saying.
“Our primary concern … is facilitating the societal resilience, to make sure for example that journalists can send videos to … international viewers even during a large-scale disaster,” Tang said.
She said it would take “a few years” for the satellite communications system to begin operations. Meanwhile, the digital ministry is currently testing out its non-geostationary satellite receivers in 700 locations around the nation to ensure bandwidth in a war or natural disaster.
In an interview with BaoDao Radio host Clara Chou on Sept. 12, Tang said that with the use of non-geostationary orbit satellite systems, Taiwan will be able to ensure that communications services such as video conferencing, Voice over Internet Protocol, and livestreaming, can be maintained, despite damage or sabotage of submarine cables and telephone networks.
Taiwan Minister of Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng previously said that communications networks would be taken out first in a Chinese invasion.