Remote Australians and Russel Coight wannabes take note: the Optus Thuraya SatSleeve satellite phone accessory is now available for the iPhone 6. The device enables you to turn your iPhone into a satellite phone with the click of a button; handy if you’re outside of mobile range and need to make a call in a hurry.
Remote Australia picture from Shutterstock
As its name implies, Optus’ Thuraya SatSleeve is a phone case, or “sleeve” that transforms a regular smartphone into a satellite phone. The device is available on the Samsung Galaxy S5, S4 and S3 as well as the iPhone 5s, 5, 4s and 4. Today marks its debut on the iPhone 6.
When stuck in remote areas with no mobile coverage, customers can still access voice, SMS and data functionality from the SatSleeve when within range of the satellite. The SatSleeve attaches to the back of your phone and can be controlled via the SatSleeve app, which can be downloaded free of charge.
It comes with an inbuilt SOS button that allows users to make calls to a pre-programmed number, even if the iPhone is not connected to the SatSleeve. You can still use your phone’s contacts list as normal while connected to the SatSleeve.
A single Thuraya SatSleeve unit will set you back $800. You’ll also need to buy a separate handset adaptor which can cost up to $100 depending on the type of phone you own. This is a pretty steep asking price and actually exceeds many standalone satellite phones. Nevertheless, it’s a small price to pay if your car breaks down in the middle of the Nullarbor.