April 7, 2008 Elektrobit (EB) showed a dual-mode satellite-terrestrial HSPA handset at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas last week and it caused quite a bit of interest. It’s the first fully IP-based Quad-band GSM-satellite phone, has a touch screen and a full QWERTY keyboard, integrated Bluetooth, WiFi, USB and GPS connectivity and is based on the Windows 6.1 mobile operating system.
The all-IP enabled handset reference platform was in a PDA form factor, and in the United States users will be able to seamlessly and securely connect via both the satellite and terrestrial components of the TerreStar network, which is the sole carrier at this stage.
EB and TerreStar are working together to deliver a new generation of mobile reference designs which will enable device manufacturers to rapidly bring to market the world's first quad-band GSM and tri-band WCDMA/HSPA smartphone with integrated all-IP satellite-terrestrial voice and data capabilities. 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