Yup, that’s what a satellite phone looks like. If only we had the foresight to stock a dozen of these at a government office (or Malacañan) or disaster control center so that officials headed to places about to be struck by a storm could more readily communicate with the rest of the world when local communications lines are down and out. I first laid eyes on this type of phone when a close family friend, a renowned surgeon from a famous Boston hospital, came for a visit and were our house guests at the beach. The doctor had this phone so that his office could reach him or vice versa, if some incredibly sensitive medical procedure needed his input, wherever he might be in world, literally. He tried it while on a boat between Bohol and Cebu and it worked like a dream. The actual phone unit has gotten smaller since, but it is still much larger than all the snazzy cellphones folks own these days.
At roughly $1,500(?) or so, it’s pricey, but not really when you consider what value it would provide in that real emergency. I hope folks learn from the recent disaster and acquire a few of these and keep up the monthly subscription. It sure as heck is a better use of our taxpayer money than billions of pork barrel funds that have gone “poof!” before our eyes. I had to hand carry this particular unit back to Hong Kong for a friend, so it could be replaced or fixed, as one or two of the functions didn’t work as planned. When stopped at customs (xray) in Manila and asked to explain why my phone was “SO BIG” I plainly said it “was a satellite phone, and it’s been to Tacloban and the coast of Leyte for the past two weeks, do YOU have a PROBLEM with that?!?” and I was quickly let through. I said “thank you”. :)