Smart launches satellite-powered service to the Philippines


The Philippines is prone to disasters – just ask the victims of typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).  So for Filipinos, this is not news.  And in times of disaster, connectivity, and communication is very important.  This is especially crucial for people who works in emergency units, military, media, and frontline services.

Smart Communications, Inc. is opening up its satellite-powered communication service to the public.  Now, everyone of us can subscribe to SmartSAT & be connected 24/7.  No matter where we are in the country, we are assured to have connectivity.

SmartSAT Thuraya

It’s nice to know that Smart is the only homegrown satellite brand in the Philippines.  Smart’s satellite service got even stronger when they partnered with Thuraya Telecommunications Company for the SmartSAT service.  Why?  Because the partnership with Thuraya expanded Smart’s satellite coverage to over 160 countries!

I got to know all these details at the press launch of SmartSAT two weeks ago.  Executives from both Smart and Thuraya spoke to select media people about the SmartSAT service.  We had the privilege to hear Jon Huertas, Bilal El Hamoui, Mon Isberto & Orlande Vea that day.

Smart Sat Press Briefing

SmartSAT is a prepaid service offered as a package worth Php 38,500, inclusive of special satellite SIM with initial credit load of $225 that is valid for one year. 

Rates are as follows:

  • Calls to Philippines (Smart/Sun/PLDT) – $0.57 per minute
  • Calls to Philippines (other networks) – $0.80 per minute
  • Calls to other countries – $0.57 to $5.75 depending on location
  • SMS rate – $0.23 per 160 characters
  • Data rate – $0.015 per 10 kilobytes
  • call to customer care – free

If you finished your $225 load before the first year ended, you can buy prepaid cars for 35 units (Php 1,575), 100 units (Php 4,500), and 250 units (Php 11,250).

The Php 38,500 covers the SmartSAT device, SIM card & first year of subscription.  However, if you want to extend it, you will need to pay the $250 annual subscription fee.

These are the three devices that you can choose from:
It will come to no surprise to my friends that my choice would be the SatSleeve for the iPhone 🙂

  • XT Satellite Phone

Thuraya XT

A stand-alone satellite phone that is suitable for use for emergency and sister response, media coverage, and outdoor recreation.  It’s ruggedised meaning it’s water splash proof, dust proof, and shock proof.

  • SatSleeve for iPhone 5/5S and Samsung Galaxy S4

SatSleeve iPhone Samsung Galaxy

With SatSleeve, you can instantly turn your iPhone or S4 into a satellite phone.

All you need to do is dock the SatSleeve to the phone in order to access satellite services (voice, SMS, & data).  It serves as an adaptor that integrates GSM and satellite mobile connectivity.  

SmartSAT iPhone sleeve

All you need is the SatSleeve mobile app that users can download via iTunes and Google Play Store for free.

SatSleeve iOS app

Interested about #SmartSAT?  Then head on over to Smart’s website to get more details about the SmartSAT here: http://www1.smart.com.ph/International/satellite-services/smart-sat/overview.

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