Satellite phones… I thought it was April fools at first but AT&T has actually started selling a crossbreed satellite/3G phone. This new TerreStar Genus phone switches from satellite coverage to AT&T’s 3G network throughout the US. Its a bit extreme but I guess there is some market for satellite telephones.
As of now there are no Satellite BlackBerrys but the TerreStar Genus phone runs the latest cutting edge operating system from Microsoft, Windows Mobile 6.5. The main upside is that it looks like a regular phone though you will pay for the better coverage. Satellite calls go for $0.65 per minute on top of a required $24.99/month satellite plan. Data costs are a obscene $5 a megabyte and text messages are not bad at $0.40 though AT&T also tacks on a required 3G plan on top of the satellite plan.
This device is targeted at “corporate responsibility” users who need to be contacted at all times. Just think of the CEO of BP. The main catch is that the device only works in the US since it uses the TerraStar satellite system which is not international. The Genus device also sets you back $799 so its not a cheap option.
Still I wonder if any regular AT&T customers are carrying one of these around…