AT&T* has announced plans to work with TerreStar Networks to offer an integrated smartphone mobility solution that will combine primary cellular wireless connectivity with the ability to connect to a satellite network as a backup, using one phone number and one smartphone device.
The AT&T integrated solution will redefine the mobile satellite services experience by providing users with easy access to both cellular and satellite networks through a cutting-edge handset that is both smaller and more feature-rich than previous satellite devices. The TerreStar Genus(TM) dual-mode cellular/satellite smartphone gives users the option to access the TerreStar(TM) satellite network when AT&T’s cellular wireless network is unavailable. Qualified AT&T wireless users with a line of sight to the satellite will be able to access expanded voice and data coverage in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and in territorial waters.
When cellular networks are unavailable, TerreStar’s satellite will act as a cell site in the sky to provide coverage to help users stay connected. The solution announced today is well-suited for government, energy, utility, transportation and maritime users. It can provide a critical communications back-up capability, important to public safety agencies, first responders, emergency services and disaster recovery groups.
The Windows Mobile powered TerreStar Genus(TM) smartphone is a revolutionary device, combining GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA terrestrial wireless capability with satellite voice and data capability in a standard smartphone size and form factor. The handset offers a 2.6″ touchscreen, Wi-Fi, BluetoothÂ® and GPS.
The AT&T integrated cellular/satellite solution is expected to be available for enterprise, government and small business customers and their corporate liable users in the first quarter of 2010. AT&T is working on a similar solution for consumers.
Customers will be required to subscribe to appropriate AT&T cellular wireless voice and data plans and a monthly satellite network access feature. Additional voice and data roaming charges will apply when using the satellite network.
AT&T and TerreStar will show the integrated cellular/satellite solution at the IACP (International Association of Chiefs of Police) annual conference from October 3 – 7, 2009 in Denver, Colorado, booth number 258.