Telco turns iPhone into satellite phone

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

WIRELESS services leader Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) has launched its latest satellite-powered communication service called Smart Sat, which provides subscribers with the flexibility, mobility, and connectivity of a mobile phone even at times when cellular coverage is compromised.

Smart Sat is powered by the Thuraya SatSleeve, a revolutionary case that turns an iPhone into a satellite device with the aid of a mobile app.

Smart is expected to deliver the device in January 2014, but interested parties may start reserving for the sleeve by visiting

"Smart is pleased to offer the Smart Sat service to everyone, following the surge of demand for satellite services because of our grim experience with super typhoon Yolanda," said Tina Mariano, head of Smart's Global Access Group.

The storm washed out entire villages, knocked down power lines, and toppled communication infrastructure, rendering many areas in Eastern Visayas out of reach.

"Many people have realized the significance of satellite communications in times when cellular coverage is compromised. The Smart Sat service gives you that vital communication line when all else fails or when you simply need a back-up for business or personal use," Mariano said.

Wide range of uses

Dependent on a network of satellites above the equator for the transmission of communication signals, satellite phones are not susceptible to natural calamities and may work virtually anywhere in the world.

As such, the Smart Sat service makes your iPhone versatile, not only for disaster situations but also for important operations by government, military, and civic organizations. It may also be useful to industries such as mining, seafaring, and media, among others.

Simple and user-friendly

Smart Sat users only need to download the Satsleeve app for free at the Apple App Store before using the device.

Once the app is running, you only need to dock your iPhone 5 or iPhone 5s into the Satsleeve to enjoy access to phone calls, emails, instant messages, and popular social media apps in satellite mode.

Coverage in over 140 countries
For its satellite services, Smart has partnered with mobile satellite services provider Thuraya Telecommunications Company (Thuraya), which provides coverage in over 140 countries or two-thirds of the globe.

It also provides coverage in major sea lanes in Asia, New Zealand, Australia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and the Indian Ocean.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 22, 2013.


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