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.

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).

 

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