Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd.’s SPOT Gen4 satellite messengers will be deployed by Maritime Department of Thailand ensure the safety and security of all travelers on and around the island of phuket.
Phuket and the surrounding islands typically see 20,000 visitors daily. As part of a major government program to revitalize tourism, it is expected that several thousand SPOT Gen4 will be deployed. A pilot deployment is already underway.
SPOT Gen4 devices are at the heart of the solution provided by Expert ship technologyone of Globalstar’s premier value-added reseller partners dedicated to the maritime industry.
Thailand’s Maritime Department is committed to helping accelerate the recovery of the tourism industry, which is so crucial to the country’s economy.
Phuket was recently opened to vaccinated Thai and foreign travellers, without the need to self-quarantine. This development should give Thai tourism a long-awaited boost. Tourism has suffered from the impact of Covid-19 but also from high-profile criminal incidents whose victims included foreign tourists.
Another major benefit of SPOT Gen4 is that it will help authorities and first responders improve the speed and efficiency of emergency rescue operations if a vessel capsizes or sinks, or if a passenger has a medical emergency.
This project is the first step in a major new partnership between Globalstar and Thaicom Public Company Limited (SET Thailand: THCOM), Asia’s largest independent satellite operator.
“Globalstar is the ideal partner for Thaicom,” said Patompob (Nile) Suwansiri, CEO of Thaicom. “Today, government and industry come together in Thailand to achieve our common goal of supporting the tourism industry, so fundamental to our economy, and our shared commitment to improving communication capabilities in our region through communications advanced satellite. Our collaboration with Globalstar will be a major driver on the roadmap to revitalize tourism, but also to develop new communication solutions that will benefit businesses and communities..”
At the end of March, Thaicom and Globalstar signed an agreement that will see the two satellite operators collaborate to develop and operate ground stations at Thaicomteleportation center in Pathum Thani Province for Globalstar’s LEO satellite constellation. The ground station infrastructure and services will support Globalstar services in the region. The partners will market safety and security services and solutions to support tourism as well as the region’s maritime industry.
Local government regulations have been introduced that require all tourists in Phuket to wear a tracking device at all times, whether on land or on the water. Every tourist must be registered and provided with a SPOT Gen4 by one of the official government-certified tourist guides. Visitors to Phuket are required to use their SPOT devices to check in with their guides at the end of any tour or day trip, with the SPOT service fee being built into the price of the tour package.
SPOT Gen4 was chosen in recognition of the device’s ability to provide always-on connectivity, regardless of the availability of other communication networks. Only satellite communications can provide reliable, ubiquitous 24/7 coverage. As part of the selection process, a solution evaluation bidding process took place, involving many government agencies. The competing proposals concerned satellite communications and other network technologies. SPOT’s coverage and economic price were determining factors, according to the CEO of Ship Expert Technology, Kirk Viaimal. He said, “We are delighted to partner with Globalstar and Thaicom to help the Thai Maritime Department support the country’s travel industry..”
In the event of an emergency, pressing SPOT’s one-touch SOS button instantly sends an alert to Maritime Services, the government authority responsible for maritime safety, along with the user’s GPS location coordinates. According to the incident, the Thai Coast Guard or the local police authority is engaged and rescue operations are initiated.
SPOT Gen4 is the newest member of Globalstar’s family of award-winning SPOT devices, powered by Globalstar’s fleet of satellites in LEO. SPOT features easy-to-use buttons that can be flexibly configured to send pre-programmed messages, with options for transmission types. To date, SPOT devices have been credited with more than 8,500 rescues worldwide.
One of the leading specialist SATCOM providers in the region, Ship Expert Technology offers a dedicated tracking platform with many features and options that meet the needs of marine users. Ship Expert Technology’s customer base extends beyond Thailand to Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
“We are very proud to support the Thai government in their initiative to keep visitors safe in Phuket and other islands.,” said Mark O’ConnellManaging Director, EMEA and APAC, Globalstar.