Spot unveils Global Phone satellite handset for near-global coverage

Spot has introduced a satellite-powered global cell phone called – quite aptly – the Spot Global Phone. The handset offers connectivity almost anywhere in the world, making it ideal for trekkers, frequent travelers, sailors, or anyone else who ventures off into places unknown – or unserviced by your regular cell phone provider. As you might suspect, the candy-bar style phone comes with a hefty price tag, in this case a dollar shy of $500, with the monthly plans starting at $25 for 10 minutes of talk time.

As you can tell from the phone's image, the Spot Global isn't priced so high for up-and-up hardware, but rather for its satellite connectivity. The phone harkens back to the days of candy-bar handsets, offering a 4-line, 12-character display, a 99 entry address book, security via a lock code and keypad lock to avoid accidental dials, and changeable ringtones. The battery is said to last 36 hours on standby and 4 hours whilst talking.

The handset does offer data connectivity if paired with a monthly (or annual) service plan that offers data. With a mobile Internet connection, the handset can be used to access the Internet, though – as you might suspect based on the display's size – this is achieved via a laptop using the phone as a modem and a USB data cable. Same goes for sending and receiving email, it would seem.

There's also the ability to receive text messages, although they are limited to a mere 35-characters. Those who subscribe will receive a local area phone number. As far as plans go, the cost falls in line with what you would expect from a satellite cell phone – expensive, but not beyond what is normal for the market. Both monthly and annual plans are available, with each having its own plus and minuses based on the needs of the user.

Annual service plans start at $300 for 120 minutes, increasing to $480 for 960, $780 for 2400, $1200 for 4800, and $1800 for unlimited minutes. The cost per minute is highest for the cheapest plan (for minutes over the allotted number), starting at $2.50 and decreasing to $0.25. If such rates are too steep, there's also the monthly plan, which gives 10 for $25 monthly, 80 minutes for $40, up to 400 minutes for $99 and unlimited for $150. The price per minute over the allotted amount is the same as with annual plans.

SOURCE: Find Me Spot