Satellite services operator Thuraya
Telecommunications announced today the launch of the Thuraya SatSleeve
, a clip-on case that brings satellite connectivity to the Apple iPhone. Only slightly larger than the iPhone itself, the compact adaptor provides users with the ability to turn an iPhone into a satellite phone that allows connectivity beyond the coverage of traditional terrestrial cellular networks.
Available in 12 languages, the free SatSleeve App allows users to easily integrate an iPhone address book for satellite calls and text messages. The case also acts as a backup battery for the iPhone, enabling operation for up to 48 hours of standby and four hours of satellite talk time.
Thuraya's satellite network covers more than 140 countries, effectively blanketing two-thirds of the planet. With high penetration alerting capability (HPA), Thuraya SatSleeve enables call reception even with the satellite antenna stowed.
The device is available now for $499 in either a 30-pin dock connector version for the iPhone 4 and 4s, or a Lightning connector version. Satellite time is billed at $0.75 per minute.