These days, it's hard to find a place in USA where some level of
cellphone reception isn't available. There are places, though, and when
you think globally, there are tons of locations where no cell service is
available. Satellite phones aren't as necessary today as they once
were, but if you frequently travel to remote destinations, TerreStar's
GENUS handset is probably a good bet to have in your suitcase.
The GENUS, which is the world's first dual-network smartphone to operate
on GSM and satellite phone signals, is now available. The GENUS has
been talked about for months on end, but now, consumers in need of
staying connected regardless of location can do so. The smartphone runs
on the normal AT&T cellular network as well as the TerreStar
satellite backup network, which effectively does away with dead zones.
The only place the satellite network doesn’t work is indoors or
underground. However, the cellular signal will still operate like a
normal cellular phone operates on the AT&T network.
The GENUS is also far smaller and slimmer than most conventional sat
phones, but consumers should know that it's only for use in the United
States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and in territorial
waters. Also, it ships with Windows Mobile 6.5, which is the prior
version of Microsoft's mobile OS. There's also 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, GPS, a
touch screen, 100MB of memory and a media player feature. About the size
of a deck of cards, the TerreStar GENUS connects to the
AT&T cellular network for primary ground-based wireless
connectivity, and gains satellite access connectivity through the power
of TerreStar-1, the world’s largest commercial communications satellite,
which acts as a cell tower in the sky.
The only problem seems to be the $1,149.99 price. Not cheap, but it's
not like there's a whole lot of competition in the field.
TerreStar GENUS Now Available for Consumers; Combining the Power of Satellite and Freedom of Mobility
The TerreStar GENUS Gives Today’s Active Lifestyle Consumers, from Outdoor Adventurists to Recreational Boaters, the Ability to Stay Connected
Reston, VA., November 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — From remote mountains to rural country roads and even up to 200 miles off the coast of the United States, consumers can now enjoy the freedom and flexibility to stay connected with the availability of the TerreStar™ GENUS™, the world’s first integrated cellular-satellite smartphone. Offered by mobile communications provider, TerreStar Networks Inc. (“TerreStar”), the GENUS ensures today’s active lifestyle consumer, from the extreme outdoor adventurer and action sport enthusiast to the recreational boater, can stay connected even in remote locations or when the cellular network is down.
The TerreStar GENUS brings satellite devices to the mainstream consumer. Forget about traditional clunky, brick-style satellite devices; the new GENUS features a sleek design, internal antenna and satellite innovation that combines cellular and satellite connectivity for voice, data and messaging. With just one phone number and one device, users with a line of sight to the southern sky can gain access to expanded voice and data roaming coverage in the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and in territorial waters. The device may be purchased online by visiting www.terrestar.com/consumer.
Additional features include:
* Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system experience
* Innovative form factor: 4.7 inch x 2.5 inch x 0.8/0.6 inch
* Lightweight at just 4.6 oz.
* Integrated Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), USB and GPS connectivity
* Touch Screen, QWERTY Keyboard
* Memory: 100 MB
* Multimedia features you’d expect from your everyday smartphone, including: Windows Mobile Media Player; 2.0-megapixel camera; camcorder format (H.263 simple profile); video and audio playback features and digital voice recording
“The GENUS smartphone is ideal for adventure-seekers, skiers, boaters, hikers and anyone who lives on the edge, but still wants to stay connected,” said Jeffrey W. Epstein, president and chief executive officer, TerreStar. “The GENUS provides the ultimate wireless backup capability; helping ensure users are prepared and have access to mobile communications in case of an emergency, disaster, or even an unforeseen weather condition, despite location or cellular network signal strength.”
About the size of a deck of cards, the TerreStar GENUS connects to the AT&T cellular network for primary ground-based wireless connectivity, and gains satellite access connectivity through the power of TerreStar-1, the world’s largest commercial communications satellite, which acts as a cell tower in the sky.
As many mobile users are fluent in the language of “apps”, but not “sats”, TerreStar created a “how it works” video highlighting key differences in using the GENUS as compared to a traditional cellular-only device. The video, which is available at: www.YouTube.com/TerreStar and on TerreStar.com, points out key usability features to ensure the best user experience. It’s good to stay connected.
Pricing and Availability
To help bring the TerreStar GENUS to consumers, TerreStar has tapped leading online wireless retailer, Simplexity, to market and distribute the TerreStar GENUS and accessories through its partner and marketing network. The TerreStar GENUS is available today, online at www.terrestar.com/consumer.
Qualified AT&T cellular voice and smartphone data rate plans are required, as well as a monthly satellite service feature. Usage of the satellite network for voice, data and messaging is not included in the monthly feature charge and is billed as a per-minute, per-message or per-megabyte roaming charge.