TerreStar Sat Phone Service Available

Certain customers are now able to communicate with the huge TerreStar-1 using spectrum previously allocated for broadcast 2 GHz ENG use. AT&T announced this week that its "Satellite Augmented Mobile Service" is available to enterprise, government and small business "Corporate Responsibility Users."

AT&T subscribers--with the $799 AT&T/TerreStar GENUS satellite phone and line-of-sight to TerreStar-1--have access to expanded voice and data roaming coverage in the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and also in territorial waters.

The GENUS phone includes access to the AT&T terrestrial cellular system. It also has a camera, Wi-Fi, touch screen, camera and GPS. From the photos on SlashGear it appears to be similar in size (perhaps a bit larger) to the older Blackberry phones. Half of the device's front is used as a display screen and the rest as a pointing device and keyboard.

SlashGear said that in addition to the expensive phone, satellite capability adds $25 per month on top of a regular cellphone/data plan, plus a charge of $0.65/minute for voice and $5 per megabyte for data. Text messages cost 40 cents. Worldwide coverage is not included.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack. A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.