Just how much is the promise of anywhere, anytime cellphone reception worth to you? If you answered "one thousand, one hundred and fifty dollars," well... your time has finally come. After initially launching through business channels alone for $800, TerreStar's unique GSM / HSPA Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone for AT&T with satellite connectivity is now available to consumers from all walks of life, as long as you've got $1,149.99 lying around. The Genus features Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, a 2 megapixel camera, and pretty much every other amenity you'd expect form a WinMo 6.5 smartphone with circa-2008 hardware specs, with the obvious exception that it can be used anywhere you can see TerreStar's satellite pretty much anywhere in North America. Of course, we'd be a little hesitant about buying a four-figure phone that operates on a bankrupt service, but if you need coverage in the boondocks, your options are pretty limited. Follow the break for TerreStar's demo video and full press release.


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TerreStar GENUS Now Available for Consumers; Combining the Power of Satellite and Freedom of Mobility

The TerreStar GENUS Gives Today's Active Lifestyle Consumers, from Outdoor Adventurists to Recreational Boaters, the Ability to Stay Connected

Reston, VA., November 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ - From remote mountains to rural country roads and even up to 200 miles off the coast of the United States, consumers can now enjoy the freedom and flexibility to stay connected with the availability of the TerreStar™ GENUS™, the world's first integrated cellular-satellite smartphone. Offered by mobile communications provider, TerreStar Networks Inc. ("TerreStar"), the GENUS ensures today's active lifestyle consumer, from the extreme outdoor adventurer and action sport enthusiast to the recreational boater, can stay connected even in remote locations or when the cellular network is down.

The TerreStar GENUS brings satellite devices to the mainstream consumer. Forget about traditional clunky, brick-style satellite devices; the new GENUS features a sleek design, internal antenna and satellite innovation that combines cellular and satellite connectivity for voice, data and messaging. With just one phone number and one device, users with a line of sight to the southern sky can gain access to expanded voice and data roaming coverage in the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and in territorial waters. The device may be purchased online by visiting www.terrestar.com/consumer.

Additional features include:

* Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system experience
* Innovative form factor: 4.7 inch x 2.5 inch x 0.8/0.6 inch
* Lightweight at just 4.6 oz.
* Integrated Bluetooth®, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), USB and GPS connectivity
* Touch Screen, QWERTY Keyboard
* Memory: 100 MB
* Multimedia features you'd expect from your everyday smartphone, including: Windows Mobile Media Player; 2.0-megapixel camera; camcorder format (H.263 simple profile); video and audio playback features and digital voice recording

"The GENUS smartphone is ideal for adventure-seekers, skiers, boaters, hikers and anyone who lives on the edge, but still wants to stay connected," said Jeffrey W. Epstein, president and chief executive officer, TerreStar. "The GENUS provides the ultimate wireless backup capability; helping ensure users are prepared and have access to mobile communications in case of an emergency, disaster, or even an unforeseen weather condition, despite location or cellular network signal strength."

About the size of a deck of cards, the TerreStar GENUS connects to the AT&T cellular network for primary ground-based wireless connectivity, and gains satellite access connectivity through the power of TerreStar-1, the world's largest commercial communications satellite, which acts as a cell tower in the sky.

As many mobile users are fluent in the language of "apps", but not "sats", TerreStar created a "how it works" video highlighting key differences in using the GENUS as compared to a traditional cellular-only device. The video, which is available at: www.YouTube.com/TerreStar and on TerreStar.com, points out key usability features to ensure the best user experience. It's good to stay connected.

Pricing and Availability
To help bring the TerreStar GENUS to consumers, TerreStar has tapped leading online wireless retailer, Simplexity, to market and distribute the TerreStar GENUS and accessories through its partner and marketing network. The TerreStar GENUS is available today, online at www.terrestar.com/consumer.

Qualified AT&T cellular voice and smartphone data rate plans are required, as well as a monthly satellite service feature. Usage of the satellite network for voice, data and messaging is not included in the monthly feature charge and is billed as a per-minute, per-message or per-megabyte roaming charge.

About TerreStar
TerreStar Corporation, through its majority-owned subsidiary, TerreStar Networks (www.terrestar.com), is re-defining mobile communications by extending the reach, reliability, and resiliency of traditional mobile networks throughout the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Offering wholesale satellite services via today's leading service providers, and the world's first and only integrated satellite-cellular smartphone, the GENUS™, TerreStar is transforming the mobile experience and enabling users to be prepared and stay connected when they need to most.

Engadget HD Podcast 225 - 11.23.2010