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AT&T to Offer Combined Satellite and Terrestrial Cell Phone

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USA based AT&T has announced plans to work with TerreStar Networks to offer an integrated 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.

TheThe TerreStar Genus dual-mode cellular/satellite smartphone gives users the option to access theTerreStar 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.

"AT&T continues to drive the emergence of new categories of devices and applications that are enhanced by wireless network connectivity," said Joe Lueckenhoff, senior vice president, product management, wireline and mobility services, AT&T Business Solutions. "Today's announcement is the latest addition to our enterprise mobility portfolio. It helps our enterprise and government customers consolidate communications platforms, reduce their telecom expenditures and have communications access on the go."

The AT&T integrated cellular/satellite solution will combine the satellite network-related charges on the customer's regular wireless bill. AT&T's monthly invoice will include the customer's cellular voice and data service charges, the satellite network access subscription feature charge and the satellite voice and data roaming charges.

The TerreStar Genus smartphone combines GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA terrestrial wireless capability with satellite voice and data capability in a standard smartphone size and form factor. The device runs on the Windows Mobile operating system to provide smartphone functionality and includes features such as a 2.6" touchscreen, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.

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Tags: terrestar networks  satellite  at&t  coverage  option  dual-mode  connect  virgin