ATandT TerreStar Genus Satellite Smartphone Debuts

AT&T's Satellite Augmented Mobile Service provides wireless voice and data communications for businesses.

Telecommunications giant AT&T announced the availability of its Satellite Augmented Mobile Service with the TerreStar Genus dual-mode cellular/satellite smartphone, aimed at enterprise, government and SMB customers. Intended to be used primarily as an everyday mobile device, the TerreStar Genus boasts cellular wireless capability as the primary default mode and satellite access capability as a secondary option for voice, data and messaging.
Access to the TerreStar satellite network helps enable wireless communications coverage in remote areas for government, energy, utility, transportation and maritime users, as well as backup satellite communications capabilities for public safety agencies, first responders and disaster recovery groups. With one phone number and one smartphone device, users with a line of sight to the satellite will have access to expanded voice and data roaming coverage in the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and territorial waters, an AT&T release sated.
"With advancements in satellite technology, satellite-based communications is poised to be the next standard in everyday mobile devices," said Jeffrey Epstein, president and CEO of TerreStar. "We are pleased to work with AT&T to bring powerful integrated satellite-cellular solutions to market, providing customers with critical communication capabilities and a great mobile experience."
The smartphone runs on the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, providing features and functionality such as a touch screen, WiFi, Bluetooth, a digital camera and GPS. According to an AT&T Business Continuity Study conducted earlier this year, businesses are stepping up their technology investment and efforts in disaster planning and business continuity programs despite the economy, and mobile devices are increasingly part of business continuity plans.
The service requires standard AT&T cellular voice and smartphone data rate plans, as well as a monthly satellite subscription feature. Usage of the satellite network for voice, data and messaging is not included in the monthly feature charge and is billed as per-minute, per-message or per-megabyte roaming charges on a customer's AT&T Mobility service invoice. Enterprise, government and small business users should contact their AT&T sales representative for information on availability and ordering, a company release stated.
"We understand the importance to stay connected in remote locations and especially in emergency situations, and today's announcement is the latest example of AT&T's commitment to delivering the highest levels of service, quality and reliability for customers," said Michael Antieri, president of advanced enterprise mobility solutions for AT&T Business Solutions. "With this expansion of AT&T's innovative mobility portfolio, AT&T is helping businesses and government agencies stay connected with a single device, single support contact and single bill."
In July, TerreStar announced it has renewed the in-orbit insurance on TerreStar-1, a large commercial communications satellite, for one additional year. The company's aim is to offer a reliable and secure satellite terrestrial mobile broadband network that will provide voice, data and video services dedicated to helping solve the critical communication and business continuity challenges faced by government, emergency responders, enterprise businesses and rural communities.