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Thuraya SatSleeve turns Apple's iPhone into a satellite phone

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Mobile satallite operator Thuraya Telecommunications on Wednesday announced SatSleeve, a "Made for iPhone" adapter that grants users access to the company's vast satellite network.

SatSleeve


The system, which includes an iPhone holder that docks into a separate satellite communications unit, allows iPhone owners to place voice calls and send text messages nearly anywhere in the world. Athough Thuraya's sat coverage doesn't include North and South America, the company has set up roaming deals with terrestrial mobile network operators in the region, including those compatible with the iPhone's supported bandwidths.



Billed as "the world's first satellite adaptor for the iPhone," most of the heavy lifting is done by the satcom "dock" which transmits and receives the satellite signal and relays it to the iPhone via Bluetooth. The docking sleeve also has a button that can be programmed to dial one emergency number even with iPhone unattached.

Thuraya's SatSleeve is available now for $499 plus satellite airtime fees which run between $0.75 to $1.25 per minute. Currently, only the iPhone 4 and 4S is supported, though a Lightning-enabled iPhone 5 version is expected to see release next month.
post #2 of 6
That's what Apple should do with their billions: buy a satellite. Just over $1b:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/02/buythissatellite_project_what_happened_next/

Worldwide coverage, international calls. Because they make the money on the service plans, they make the phones cheaper. They'd have to sort out the aerial design of course and there might be a bit of latency. Competitors might try to interfere with it too. It would at least be a nice option to have.
post #3 of 6

Apple couldn't do much with a single satellite. Worldwide coverage--no. Compatible with existing phones--no.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

That's what Apple should do with their billions: buy a satellite. Just over $1b:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/02/buythissatellite_project_what_happened_next/

Worldwide coverage, international calls. Because they make the money on the service plans, they make the phones cheaper. They'd have to sort out the aerial design of course and there might be a bit of latency. Competitors might try to interfere with it too. It would at least be a nice option to have.

One satellite isn't going to get you worldwide coverage. This gadget is rather nice, $499 isn't bad considering many sat phones cost twice that.
Edited by dasanman69 - 3/22/13 at 6:30pm
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Apple couldn't do much with a single satellite. Worldwide coverage--no. Compatible with existing phones--no.

True, at most 3 and maybe they'd get away with 2 if they cut out ocean coverage. They'd have to design compatibility into a future model of phone. It would have to work well for data too.
post #6 of 6
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post
True, at most 3 and maybe they'd get away with 2 if they cut out ocean coverage. They'd have to design compatibility into a future model of phone. It would have to work well for data too.

 

The latency would make multiplayer games almost impossible, and even voice call experience would be diminished noticeably (though not at all greatly). 

 

Still, I do like the idea.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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