By Keene Haywood
Satellite phones are the de facto way to keep in touch with the world when you are on the edges of it, where no other communication options are possible. However, sat phones have always been very expensive, bulky, and somewhat finicky even on a good day, let alone in a raging blizzard or hurricane. In recent years, the size of the phones have come down, but they are still mostly one trick ponies that do voice communications and some slow data and video transmissions (for a hefty per minute price tag). No apps or fancy touchscreens for your sat phone sorry to say. But that is about to change.
AT&T is teaming up with satellite phone service provider TerreStar to provide Genus, a smartphone that also can be used as a satellite phone. It is a clever hybrid that may appeal to those who spend a good bit of time beyond traditional cell connections but then venture back into the civilization and want a more traditional phone to use.