CTIA Wireless 2008 was the platform where Elektrobit released its dual-mode satellite terrestrial HSPA handset, and this modern marvel has stirred quite a fair bit of interest. It touts itself to be the “first fully IP-based Quad-band GSM-satellite phone” which features a touch screen display, a full QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, USB, and GPS navigation, all powered by the Windows 6.1 mobile operating system. It will come in a PDA form factor, where users in the US will be able to seamlessly and securely connect via both the satellite and terrestrial components of the TerreStar network. That is currently the sole carrier at this stage, so who knows whether there will be others in the future?
Both Elektrobit and TerreStar have come together to deliver a new generation of mobile reference designs that will bring together the first quad-band GSM and tri-band WCDMA/HSPA smartphone with integrated all-IP satellite-terrestrial voice and data capabilities in the world. Among the other notable firsts would be this being the only fully IP-based satellite phone using high-speed packet data, also taking top spot in being the only satellite-terrestrial smartphone with a touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard in addition to being the only satellite-terrestrial smartphone based on Windows Mobile operating system, accompanied by other services such as SMS, MMS, IM, Email, Push to Talk and Location Based Services (LBS).
Some of the specifications to be included into the EB-TerreStar reference designs include :-
- Windows Mobile Professional Operating System
- 100MB of internal memory
- Lightweight form factor
- 4.7″ x 2.5″ x 0.8″
- Built-in Bluetooth connectivity
- Integrated WiFi connectivity
- GPS navigation
- Mass handset customization possibilities
No idea on how much this will cost when it finally hits the market though, but it looks (and sounds) set to be one feature packed smartphone.