updated 02:05 pm EDT, Wed September 30, 2009
AT&T Genus phone has cellular, satellite support
AT&T on Wednesday announced it has partnered with TerreStar Networks to offer the Genus, a rare dual-mode cellular and satellite smartphone. The Windows Mobile-based, keyboard-equipped handset uses AT&T's 3G and GSM/EDGE phone networks most of the time but can tap into the satellite for a connection in remote areas where no cellular coverage is available, such as offshore or in the wilderness. Its 2.6-inch display is touch-capable, while Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi are all built-in.
Enterprise-level users will have the option of buying the Genus in early 2010, with a home user equivalent expected soon afterwards.
While prices for accessing the satellite network haven't been announced, the service will have an associated monthly subscription fee and separate associated satellite voice and data roaming charges. Cellular charges will also be reflected on the bill. Users in the United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and their territorial waters can access the satellite network.