AT&T announces cellular satellite smartphone

The TerreStar Genus will primarily use AT&T's network and will fall back to satellite service in rural areas.

TerreStar Genus TerreStar

In the midst of a barrage (literally) of fall phone announcements, AT&T and TerreStar managed to stand apart from the pack on Wednesday with their announcement of an integrated cellular satellite smartphone. The TerreStar Genus will use AT&T's network, but will also be able to access an all-IP satellite service when cellular coverage isn't available. You'll be able to use the phone in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and coastal waters.

With a QWERTY keyboard and a candy bar design, the Genus resembles many a Windows Mobile device (it runs the same OS). Feature details ares slim at this point, but we know that the handset will offer Bluetooth, a touch screen, Wi-Fi, and GPS. Pricing is to be announced, though the Genus will only be released to government customers. Phone Scoop says that AT&T is working on a consumer variant as well.

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