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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.
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).
This reference design also includes:
* The only fully IP-based satellite phone using high-speed packet data;
* The first satellite-terrestrial smartphone with a touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard;
* The first satellite-terrestrial smartphone based on Windows Mobile operating system, with competitive service offerings, including: SMS, MMS, IM, Email, Push to Talk and Location Based Services (LBS).
‘By developing and delivering innovative reference designs for integrated satellite-terrestrial networks, EB and TerreStar intend to help solve the critical communications and business continuity challenges faced by enterprises, rural communities and the nation’s homeland defense and public safety agencies,’ said Dennis Matheson, chief technology officer, TerreStar Networks. ‘We are empowering end-users across North America to be connected to our network through a virtual handshake between our next-generation mobile satellite and terrestrial network; and with EB’s reference designs we can provide customer-designed, tailored applications in a conventional form factor end-users are familiar with.’
Critical to the relationship is that TerreStar customers can utilize the existing reference design form factors – or – work directly with EB to customize their mobile devices based on their target market requirements. Initial commercial availability of the reference design is planned for H1 2009.
‘This is an exciting moment, as EB and TerreStar are now ready to show the reach of ubiquitous satellite-terrestrial high speed all-IP access with powerful smartphone capabilities – all delivered in an incredibly compact form factor,’ said Pertti Korhonen, chief executive officer, EB. ‘This demonstrates EB’s superior technology skills and reflects our ability to turn technology into enriching end-user experiences.’
Features of the EB-TerreStar reference designs will include:
* Windows Mobile Professional operating system * End-user memory: 100 MB * Compact form factor: 4.7 inch x 2.5 inch x 0.8/0.6 inch * Lightweight * Integrated Bluetooth, WiFi, USB and GPS connectivity * Mass handset customization possibilities for various vertical industries