Remember when satellite phones were the future? AT&T is launching one (currently just for business and government contracts) made by TerreStar called the Genus and will sell for $799. The phone features both GSM (AT&T’s regular network) and satellite capabilities.
The TerreStar Genus will connect to the default GSM network. Should GSM be unavailable, users can get voice, data and SMS service via satellite. This phone would be ideal for users frequently going out of coverage, mariners who sail away from coverage and emergency workers who can call each other in the event the network goes down.
The TerreStar Genus runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3. How bold of AT&T to launch a Windows Mobile device when Windows Phone 7 Series is almost here! The phone also features GPS, touchscreen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a camera.
Satellite service is a subscription extra, $29 per month. That gets users into the game, then AT&T follows up with 65 cents per minute, 40 cents per message and $5 per megabyte fees. Not cheap but if you are out of range and need to be in contact, your choices are limited.
While clearly not designed for everyone, the TerreStar Genus is going to make some folks quite happy.