Optus Satellite has announced the availability of the new SatSleeve that slips over your phone to give you mobile coverage anywhere in Australia where there is a direct line of sight to the telco's satellite. Made by Thuraya, SatSleeve is compatible with a number of iOS and Android devices from Apple, Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony and Huawei.
SatSleeve uses an app to turn a regular phone into a satellite phone, diverting calls to the satellite phone if users happen to be out of range. It can also be used to access SMS and data services in any place where satellite coverage is available, and full access to the phone's contact list is still available through the app. Optus Satellite's vice-president Paul Sheridan said:
In a country as vast as ours, living and working in remote areas is increasingly common. We know that the resources and mining sector boom has seen large workforces stationed in remote locations. With a SatSleeve, people can stay in touch when outside of mobile range.
Businesses who work in transport and logistics, construction, resources, forestry and agricultural sectors as well as government departments at all levels are among those who have adopted SatSleeve's technology. For an extra level of safety in remote areas, the SatSleeve even offers a programmable SOS button for emergency situations.
The new model SatSleeve+ boasts a few differences from its predecessor: most notably the use of WiFi rather than Bluetooth as the means of connecting with the smartphone. SatSleeve has also released a SatSleeve Hotspot product which is designed to act as a WiFi hotspot to deliver voice calls, SMS and even data to your phone or tablet, delivering connectivity via satellite instead of a fixed line or mobile netwok.
The SatSleeve will be available at a minimum cost of $15 per month, or at a price of $899 each for the SatSleeve+ or the Hotspot.