Globalstar, the company behind the affordable Spot satellite phone, has a new device on the market that can turn any smartphone into a globally connected handset. Sat-Fi is not a WiFi hotspot in the traditional sense -- you can't simply connect and expect limitless web browsing and media streaming -- but it can support email, SMS and voice calls for up to eight connected devices simultaneously. Transfer rates are capped at a paltry 9.6 Kbps, so you're really limited to text applications, and data is billed by the minute, just like a voice call.
Like other satellite devices, you also need a line-of-sight connection between Sat-Fi's external antenna and the big bird hundreds of miles above in order to make and receive calls, but assuming you're able to meet that requirement you should be good to go in remote areas all around the world. The device is reasonably priced, at $999, and per-minute rates top out at $1. There are plenty of monthly plans to choose from, too, ranging from $40 for 40 minutes to $150 for unlimited service. Sat-Fi is available now.