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The first WM sat phone?

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#1
Alex (nedge2k)

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What's the first image that pops into your head when you think satellite phone? A chunky handset connected to a carry case with a portable dish? Like something out of Under Siege? Or something a little more modern, like the chunky one they had in Lost? Well, flush those images out of your head and feast your eyes on what Elektrobit have cooked up...

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Not only is this a slim and well spec'd Windows Mobile device but it also allows you to make a call from virtually anywhere in the world, even at sea! :wacko:

Specs for the device as follows:
  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional (PPC)
  • 2.6" Landscape QVGA Screen
  • 3.0MP camera with flash and auto focus
  • VGA front video-calling camera
  • 300Mhz STN 8815 Nomadik CPU
  • Dual-band WCDMA (850/1900)
  • TerreStar WCDMA HSDPA 2.2 Ghz
  • Quad-band GSM/EGPRS (850/900/1800/1900)
  • 2.2Ghz satellite band with GMR-3G
  • GPS (chip type not specified)
  • 802.11b/g WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • USB 2.0 with mass storage
  • MicroSD slot
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 1400mAh battery
  • 118.8 mm x 64.8 mm x 19.25/16.25 mm (thickest/thinnest)
...not details on RAM/ROM other than it has 100MB of "end user memory". Here's some blurb from the company about the device:

EB Satellite/Terrestrial Reference PDA Phone is a lead product for TerreStar’s upcoming satellite/terrestrial all-IP mobile network in North America.

EB Satellite/Terrestrial Reference PDA Phone is based on the highly flexible EB platform and can be easily customized for specific target markets.

EB makes mobile terminal product development and lifecycle management simple by building your product ecosystem. EB enables customers to turn next-generation wireless technologies into exciting end-user experiences.

TerreStar plans to build, own and operate North America’s first 4G integrated mobile satellite and terrestrial communications network.


Now obviously, being a reference design, this device and it's specs are subject to change/improvement and possible modification depending on what prospective carriers may want etc. etc. but damn, talk about hyper connectivity! Obviously, not everyone needs or even wants a sat phone and let's not even mention the costs associated with satellite communications but if you're part of the niche crowd that does need sat comms, this device could well be for you! Oh and did I mention it's ever so slightly ruggedised? I imagine we can expect armed forces everywhere to be sporting these WM badboys in the not too distant future ;) Nice work EB!

Thanks to mcwarre for the heads up!

[Via] [Product Page]

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#2
nickcornaglia

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Beautiful watermarking! Took me a minute to find the one on the full image. ;)

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#3
Alex (nedge2k)

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Why thank you, I try ;)

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#4
gerryr

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And there was me thinking MoDaCo were branching out into the hardware market ;)

Nice phone though, nicer looking than most front facing QWERTY PPC's, I'm still waiting for one to hit the market that takes my fancy, wonder will there'll be a HSDPA version.....

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#5
mcwarre

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Nedgey,

Far better than the random link I gave awarner!! Cheers for the piccies etc. I bet you need a rucksack to power that beast. 1 Minute call time on Sat-phone??? ;)

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#6
Alex (nedge2k)

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heh, according to the spec sheet, 2hrs calltime in sat mode ;)

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#7
Alex (nedge2k)

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And there was me thinking MoDaCo were branching out into the hardware market :(

Nice phone though, nicer looking than most front facing QWERTY PPC's, I'm still waiting for one to hit the market that takes my fancy, wonder will there'll be a HSDPA version.....


It has HSDPA :wacko:

I quite like the looks of this too ;) It's prolly the only full QWERTY / landscape device I have liked the look of :D

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#8
awarner

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Far better than the random link I gave awarner!


I googled mick :wacko: but credit still goes to you the initial find ;)

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#9
mcwarre

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I googled mick :wacko: but credit still goes to you the initial find ;)


Ash, you googled 'mick'? Don't tell me what you found......



Back on topic. It looks quite nice actually. Interesting to see how much it will cost / call charges. Also I can't for the life of me see how they have a satcom antenna in that

Edited by mcwarre, 14 September 2008 - 05:00 PM.

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#10
Alex (nedge2k)

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i'm not going to pretend i know anything about sat comms but surely if std internal gps antennas are fine for sat nav, the same or similar antenna can be used for sat comms?

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#11
WearTheFoxHat

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What are the off network planet roaming charges like? ;)

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#12
mcwarre

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i'm not going to pretend i know anything about sat comms but surely if std internal gps antennas are fine for sat nav, the same or similar antenna can be used for sat comms?


Alex,

GPS is receive only. A very small antenna means that the receiver has to be super-sensitive (possible) and the transmitter has to be very powerful = lots of battery power and large E-M field near your head..............

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#13
T39andcounting

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I did a long sailing trip on a 40 foot yacht in April/May (Houston-> Florida->Bermuda) and we carried a Sat Phone as part of the safety equipment and to send/receive emails and weather data. We used an Iridium 9505A (http://www.iridium.c...t.php?linx=0001) and this thing was ancient tech... originally made by Motorola, now exclusively by Iridium, it's the only handheld you can use on their network. Massive (proper old skool brick) with a big aerial that plugged into the back (not shown on the photo) and a B&W screen. Even in a yacht (fiber glass roof) you couldn't get a signal, so inside it had to be connected to a coax cable leading to a small sat dome on the back of the yacht. To send and receive email it had to be connected to a laptop via a serial cable (only option!) and data was at 9.6k, charged at $5/minute, so no surfing modaco at sea!

It did the job, emailing position reports on a daily basis and calling shore support when we had some engine issues in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, but I can really see the benefit of a small WM type device that frees you from the laptop for email and/or at least has bluetooth/usb if you need to connect. The lack of Satilite aerial makes me wonder what kind of reception this thing gets, but hopefully the tech has moved on. My only worry is WM reliability. Old tech is proven tech, and you don't want to have to do a hard reset in a war zone, or in the middle of an ocean!

Our sat phone dealer told us that a lot of people are buying Sat phones in the US after Huricane Katrina, as they were the only method of communication after the cell phone and land line networks went down in that area. Also a lot of the US military use Sat phones when deployed to keep in contact with back home, so the market's growing rapidly. Also, frequent travelers are using them as, even at $5/minute, it's often the same price or cheaper than roaming onto a network in non-EU countries, and you're guaranteed reception if you're out doors no matter where you are!

We also had a BGAN router on board the yacht, which we could have used to get full broadband speed data, but this had to be set on a stable, unmoving platform and pointed towards the satillite, so not much use on a sailing vessel. Also at $10/mb, not cheap, (apparently someone had run up a $50,000 bill with one of these recently on a becalmed yacht with a bored crew!!)

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#14
Alex (nedge2k)

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Alex,

GPS is receive only. A very small antenna means that the receiver has to be super-sensitive (possible) and the transmitter has to be very powerful = lots of battery power and large E-M field near your head..............


/me slaps head

...don't think my brain was on when I wrote that ;)

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#15
benjitek

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...I want that sliding shortcut bar at the top of the Today Screen!!!

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#16
Wombleuk

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...I want that sliding shortcut bar at the top of the Today Screen!!!

Try Facade

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#17
angelinalove

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Thanks for nice post.

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