SMART to offer Satellite Broadband

I was watching an afternoon news break program last week and saw Mon Isberto, Public Affairs Head of Smart Communications, say that one of the new products to be launched by the telecoms company is a Satellite Broadband service. Not the first in the Philippines but definitely significant because it will be offered by a major telecoms company. According to the interview it is expected to be launched in 2007.

Satellite broadband will require you to have a dish attached outside your house (size is usually 75 cm in diameter) and a modem where you can connect your PC’s LAN card. From there a satellite in geostationary orbit 35,786 km above the earth will be the source of your Internet connection.

The most common users of Satellite broadband services are for those areas which aren’t accessible by current broadband services (DSL, Cable, Mobile Broadband and Wireless) such as those in rural or offshore locations. These areas usually are too remote that it would be costly to deploy lines/antennas or the population is not dense enough to get a good base of subscribers. I did a check of broadband services in other countries and the price range for the services were around Php 2500 – P 80,000 (converted at $1=Php 50.) Aside from these there are also usually hardware costs and setup fees associated with the service. Speeds offered were similar to current broadband services (256kbps~2 Mbps)

Issues I’ve found with Satellite Broadband are:

  1. Bandwidth Limiters – some current providers have a fair use policy in effect with their subscription plan. Which means that you have a set amount of bandwidth allocated per month or per day (usually 200mb). If you go beyond your allocated bandwidth the service provider will throttle down your access speeds to near dial-up in order to give chance to other users to access the service. Some even monitor your current usage and throttle down your access once they notice that you are using too much bandwidth (such as when downloading large files over P2P).
  2. Latency – because of the distance of the satellite above the earth, satellite broadband is notorious for having high latency.

    The delay is primarily due to the speed of light being only 300,000 km/second (186,000 miles per second). Even if all other signaling delays could be eliminated it still takes the electromagnetic wave 233 milliseconds to travel from ground to the satellite and back to the ground, a total of 70,000 km (44,000 miles) to travel from you to the satellite company.

    This usually won’t be an issue unless you require quick arrival of your data packets (such as in online gaming.)

  3. Easily Affected by Rain and Snow – satellite broadband is known for being very susceptible to rain fade. Wherein signal degrades due to electromagnetic resistance from a storms leading edge. This could mean not only at your location but also at the hub location where the satellite transmits and receives its connection to the internet.

Given these facts, it would seem that people should only get satellite broadband if they have no other means of accessing the internet via traditional broadband services (cable and dsl) and the newer broadband services (Wireless and GPRS.) I see good use of the service though as a backup to existing high speed internet providers.

This could also go hand in hand with the One Laptop Per Child Program if ever the Philippines should decide to avail of the program and deploy it in areas which have no access to the internet and most likely electricity as well (with solar panels or a mini hydro power plant to provide electricity).

References: here and here.

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  • YUng sa Dream TV nawala…

  • I’m using dream Vsat, mas mura ba ito compare sa dream? Saan pwede mag inquire?

  • how about vsats?

  • ahhh, i can’t wait. pati TV namin satellite now. smart bro just opened in our town pero di pa rin ako abot. kainis.

  • @ Lnn

    naka Dream TV kami. ok siya basta wala lang thunderstorm at malakas na ulan saka nawawala ang signal.

    medyo mahal nga lang, yung 690/month na load ang merong HBO/Disney/Cinemax Channels.

  • Hi Gloria!

    How are you surfing now? how about weroam or Smart 3G

  • It is about time they sorted something in the Philippines to give good internet, there is no way it will ever be reliable using phone lines here just look at them looks like a drunken spider been to work.
    PLDT does not have the know how or desire to provide good internet they are only interested in online gaming and why you Filipino’s pay to play games when you can play them for free I will never know.
    The resent Earthquake in Taiwan proved you can’t rely on cable and the fact it took the Philippines a month before they even looked at the damage proves the only way in this country is satellite.
    As for the price in most countries you used to calculate you for got to add in the cost of living fact and average wage. Cost of living in most western countries is 10 times it is here as is wages so the price in the Philippines should be 250 peso to 8,000 peso.

  • i doubt this type of service from Smart will be of any good since we all know how bad their Smart Bro service is.

  • the 3g service of smart is very poor. they must first improve their 3g service before embarking on a new and more hi tech service. globe is still better. globe’s 3g service is faster. kaya nga mag go globe uli ako.

  • But don’t you think Globe’s data rates are too expensive? Maybe that’s why it’s fast – not enough users.

  • ano ba talaga, am getting conflicting reactions. sabi ng iba, ok ang smart/bro at smart 3g sabi naman ng iba OK. naguguluhan na ako sa inyo. he he.

    anyway, am using smart bro now pero hindi pa rin sa bahay ko. so far ok naman ang smart broadband dito sa gubat, sorsogon (my location, laking bilis at less downtime compared sa DSL providers dito na digitel at bayantel (sobrang bulok service, IMHO).

    anyway, am about to start using smart 3G in a few weeks if not days (namimili pa ako ng 3G phone unit)…i’ll tell you all about it in my blog.

    pero i’m still hesitant kasi mukhang 2G lang ang signal ng smart sa residence ko.

    that’s why I want to see this satellite broadband happen. considering na happy naman ako sa satellite TV…I’ll take my chances when Smart finally launches this service.

  • heLL

    ei, pde po ba magtanong kung ano mas maganda gamitin? ung pldt dsl na 999/month- 512kbps, or ung sa globe 995/ 384kbps ba un? at paki reply n rin po kung ayos na mga connections ng pldt at globe, namimili pa kasi ako kung ano mas maganda gamiting ngaun sa panahon na ito, baka malugi p ako pagkatapos!

  • jeol

    hello po sa mga laat ng taga subaybay at mga expert sa internet….magtatayp po ako ng internet cafe but hesitant ako kung ano ang pinaka magandang broadband network na kukunin ko na mabilis to give a goood benifit sa mga future customer ko….can anyone give me an idea please….thank you

  • naku po!! mabilis lng sila maningil pag katapusan na…pero pag kailangan ng repair, puputi na buhok mo sa kahihintay..gumising naman sana kayo mga taga smart.

  • Rene Bello

    Available na ba ang satellite broadband sa Palawan, esp. Coron and Salvacion.
    Magkano ang set-up cost at monthly dues.


  • ana

    smartbro.. very amazing magsalestalk.. ma a amaze ka talaga. but when you’re using it na, ma i imbyerna ka na. i dont regret of choosing smartbro..didnt i? oh yes i do!!! i should have think first before mag pa install. very slow, always disconnected,pag may problema, they will justkeep on asking you to restart your pc or disconnect the cable, and plugt it again pero at the end of that? hindi parin magagawa. at bago ka maka connect sa *1888, makakatulog ka na sa music na pini play nila pero walang sasagot. very slow. pero ano ba okay sa smart? meron din naman. yung name nila, SMART. pero hindi bagay sa takbo ng mga pangyayari.

    sorry to offend all smart staff.. im just telling sttuff like this, based on what i am going through at the moment…

    i wont choose smart on the next contract!

  • arlene

    good day!
    just want to know kung available kaya ang smart broadband s Brgy. Kapatalan Siniloan, Laguna.
    How much will it cost?
    and contact no.

  • so globe nalang kasi mas mabilis kesa smart bro???

  • How about the new smart bro tech to just plug in a usb port… Can you shared some feedbacks regarding this service… Thanks… if you like visit my website its in here at thanks…

  • noemi

    i am residing in marilao bulacan, but presently me and my husband are working here in kuwait.
    we choose smart broadband kasi maganda daw ang connection and we need internet everytime we are talking to my children.
    pero mali pala ang desisyon namin…lagi na lang walang connection ang smart broadband namin, so every time na tatawag kami sa mga anak ko thru internet,they have to go to a computer shop and pay there!!!!!!
    samantalang yung smartbro na pinakabit namin sa bahay binabayaran namin monthly ng 999/- laging walang connection.
    everytime na tinatawagan ang smart office puro sila sabi na i chechek nila connection.
    sa loob ng isang buwan mas matagal pa ang wala kaming internet connection kesa sa meron…
    so nasasayang lang ang binabayad namin monthly.

  • john yid

    nasaan na ang plano na ito, mag 2009 na!

  • john yid

    sorry! 2009 na pala hi!hi!hi!

  • Rhon of kapatalan

    Panget tlga smartbro. .ang bgal d2 z bundok. .wla png plan. .prepaid lng. .tzk

  • bedmazter

    SANA pdE n dn ang PLAN 999 ng Smart Bro ,d2 s KAPATALAN . .para unlimtd. .jeje. .kht MaBgal ang coNnectioN..

  • Lonny

    I am going to Philippines to stay,I am interested to apply SMART Satellite Broadband for Southern Luzon which at present cannot received the Wireless Broadband Internet. I hope you can furnish me with more information about Smart Satellite Broadband as I wish to instal it. Thanking you and hoping to hear fdrom you soon.

    Lonny Lim(Mr)

  • Rancher

    Globe, Sun, Smart, lahat yan pangit kung internet paguusapan…kc alam nila na walang magagawa ang pinoy but to avail their services in order to stay connected…sana may maglakas loob na patumbahin lahat ng cellsites nila, para magkalugi-lugi ang mga yan…sobra kung maningil sa subscribes sa bulok at napakabagal na serbisyo…peniperahan lng tayo ng mga companies na yan…naku! if only I had three wishes…i wish they will turn into frogs and worms!..sana kumidlat at magkakatotoo ang wish ko…

  • Lin

    Internet speeds here in the Philippines all sucks up when i’m still abroad my connection speed is 1gbs. I can watch online movies without any buffer. The cost almost 1k in peso a month without any bandwith limit. Here in the Philippines you can’t even enjoy your very slow connection with bandwidth limit.

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