Finally: Pocket Satcom

We’ve been waiting for a satcom smartphone for a while now. Last week, AT&T announced a deal with TerreStar:

In the midst of a barrage (literally) of fall phone announcements, AT&T and TerreStar managed to stand apart from the pack on Wednesday with their announcement of an integrated cellular satellite smartphone. The TerreStar Genus will use AT&T’s network, but will also be able to access an all-IP satellite service when cellular coverage isn’t available. You’ll be able to use the phone in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and coastal waters.

With a QWERTY keyboard and a candy bar design, the Genus resembles many a Windows Mobile device (it runs the same OS). Feature details ares slim at this point, but we know that the handset will offer Bluetooth, a touch screen, Wi-Fi, and GPS. Pricing is to be announced, though the Genus will only be released to government customers. Phone Scoop says that AT&T is working on a consumer variant as well.

TerreStar Genus Specifications:

  • Size: 118.8 mm x 64.8 mm x 19.25 mm
  • Display: 2.6-inch touch screen, QVGA resolution
  • Satellite & Terrestrial: 2000-2010 MHz, 2190-2200 MHz S-band
  • Terrestrial: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • OS: Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional
  • 100MB internal memory
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • QWERTY Keyboard
  •  Bluetooth
  • WiFi
  • GPS
  • Micro-USB connector
  • microSD card slot
  • 1400 mAh battery

It runs Windows Mobile. *yawn* Even Blackberry is better than WinMo.

You know, I don’t care for it. Would I want satcom back-up? Yes. Give up my iPhone? No. Wait a minute…

Now that’s a hot idea: build the satcom capability into an iPhone. Now that’s a good enhancement. Might as well add a special feature: bypassing Edge service and connecting directly to satellite. I’d pay extra for that.

 I can just picture it now…



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