SMART Communications and Thuraya deploy mobile satellite handsets to establish critical connectivity in the Philippines

Smart Communications is collaborating with the Philippine government and relieforganizations to deploy Thuraya mobile satellite equipment to aid of relief efforts

DUBAI, UAE, November 15, 2013 – Thuraya Telecommunications Company, a leading Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) operator is working closely with their Service Partner, SMART Communications, to facilitate relief efforts in the typhoon-stricken municipalities of the Philippines. To date, Thuraya and Smart have deployed over 100 units of the Thuraya SF2500, SatSleeve and the Thuraya XT to Philippine government agencies as well as relief organizations such as the Red Cross to help establish critical communication channels and facilitate relief coordination efforts.

In aid of the typhoon survivors, Smart has converted over 70 Marino Phonepal (SF2500) units for use in basic voice calling on land. These units are being utilized as free call centers in over 27 municipalities. The units enable survivors to contact family members who live outside of the disaster areas.

Bilal El Hamoui, Vice President of Distribution at Thuraya said, “Our hearts go out to the survivors. Thuraya and Smart have been working closely since last week to ensure that government and relief organizations are equipped with mobile satellite handsets needed to establish vital communication. Thuraya’s robust network ensures congestion-free satellite communications to enable survivors to reach out to their loved ones and facilitate aid workers in coordinating relief efforts, in places where the GSM network has been destroyed.”

Smart’s Chief Wireless Advisor, Orlando Vea, said, “Being based in the Philippines has Smart to be one of the first responders after the typhoon struck. Almost immediately, we were able to reach out to government and relief organizations to help them assess the situation and work with them to establish their communication needs. With Thuraya’s help, we were also able to convert the Marino Phonepals into free call centers so that survivors can make contact with their loved ones. Satellite communications is vital in such situations and is one of the most impactful ways to ensure that relief efforts can be delivered as quickly as possible. We believe that there is still a lot to be done and continue to work with Thuraya to hasten the process as much as we can.”

About Thuraya Telecommunications Company
Thuraya Telecommunications Company is an industry leading MSS operator and a global telecommunication provider offering innovative communications solutions to a variety of sectors including energy, broadcast media, maritime, military and humanitarian NGO. Thuraya’s superior network enables clear communications and uninterrupted coverage across two thirds of the globe by satellite and across the whole planet through its unique GSM roaming capabilities. The company’s diverse range of technologically superior and highly reliable mobile satellite handsets and broadband devices provide ease of use, value, quality and efficiency.

Thuraya remains committed to serving humanity through delivering the essential tools for optimal connectivity, never leaving anyone out of reach. Visit www.thuraya.com

About Smart Communications
Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is the Philippines' leading wireless services provider with 57.3 million subscribers on its GSM network as of end-June 2013. Smart has built a reputation for innovation, having introduced world-first wireless offerings such as Smart Money, Smart Load, Smart Padala, the Netphone, and Smart LTE. Smart also offers 3G and HSPA+ services, while its’ Smart Satellite Services, provides communications to the global maritime industry. Smart Broadband, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary, offers a wireless broadband service, Smart Broadband, with 1.8 million subscribers as of end-June 2013. Smart is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Philippines' leading telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. For more information, visit http://www.smart.com.ph.

For further information please contact:
Shereen Hanafi, Director of Communications
Thuraya
Tel: + 971-4-4488-888
Email: corporatecomms@thuraya.com

Tisha Quinitio, Marketing Manager
SMART Communications
Tel: +63 9199100208
Email: smartsatelliteservices@smart.com.ph

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