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Smartphone Provides TerreStar Satellite Capability

TerreStar, one of two companies assigned mobile satellite service using spectrum reallocated from the 2 GHz ENG band, has reached an agreement with AT&T to market the first fully integrated satellite cellular smartphone.

The service will be offered using the TerreStar Genus smartphone, which combines 3G terrestrial wireless capability with satellite voice and data in a standard smartphone size and form factor. While the phone will use the 3G network as the primary connection, the satellite connection will be available when a terrestrial signal isn't detected.

“TerreStar is pleased to announce AT&T as a distribution channel,” said Jeffrey Epstein, president of TerreStar Networks. “TerreStar remains focused on offering an integrated satellite and terrestrial communications solution to enable true ubiquity and reliability virtually anywhere in the United States to help solve the critical communications and business continuity challenges faced by government, emergency responders, enterprises and rural communities.”

The Genus smartphone is scheduled to be demonstrated to the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Denver this week.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.