Satellite telephones were the stuff of off-gridders’ fantasies – until now. The new SPOT Global Phone is a portable sat phone that will retail for $499 (solar chargers not included). And it handles data at claimed speeds that are relatively fast, compared to older models.
“Outdoor recreationists have come to appreciate SPOT as a brand that keeps them safe as they explore new ways of getting off the grid,” Jay Monroe, CEO of parent company Globalstar, stated in a press release. “As the first satellite phone available in major retail outlets such as West Marine, REI and Cabela’s, SPOT Global Phone will not only provide a lifeline during these adventures, but an opportunity to connect with impeccably clear voice quality on a satellite network that is light years ahead of the competition.”
Buyers will also have to opt into a monthly service plan with rates starting at $24.99 or 25 cents per minute.
The SPOT Global Phone weighs just 7 ounces, which is about the same as a hairbrush or a fistful of Hershey chocolate bars. The phone has a backlit color display for outdoor daytime viewing and a battery that provides four hours’ talk time or 36 hours’ standby.
The SPOT Global Phone is also data capable, allowing for e-mail and file transfers. Most data plans guarantee speeds of 9.6 Kbps, which Globalstar says is as much as four times faster than the data speed of most other satellite data services.
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