TerreStar Genus satellite phone now available for $799 from AT&T
AT&T have just added a dual-mode cellular+satellite phone to their portfolio. It’s the TerreStar Genus, first announced a full year ago, and rather surprisingly, it looks nothing like the average satellite phone.
Plus, this isn’t a satellite-only phone. It will work just fine as any other cellular device on AT&T. However, when AT&T’s coverage fails you, the satellites are there to provide the much-needed signal.
This phone is not cheap, at $799. Also, to benefit from its satellite connectivity, you have to pony up an additional $25 per month on top of whatever AT&T plan you already have. And on top of that, each minute of satellite calls costs $0.65/minute, each SMS is $0.40 and data is $5/MB.
But perhaps most intriguingly, this is a satphone that won’t work anywhere in the world, because its satellite operation is limited to just the US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and US territorial waters. Rather strange. And it’s what makes this phone suitable mostly for those who travel or work in remote locations in the US, where cell signal has yet to exist.
A niche if I ever saw one. But AT&T do say that this device is aimed at “enterprise, government and small business customers”.
Anyway, the Genus is powered by Windows Mobile 6.5.3 and has a very usable-looking full QWERTY keyboard.
It’s one unique device, that’s for sure, and I’m sure that quite a few people will find it interesting enough to purchase.
Via Press release