Adventure Tech: SPOT Global Satellite Phone

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Earlier this week SPOT, the makers of the popular SPOT Satellite Messenger, took the wraps off their first new product in a couple of years. The company unveiled the SPOT Global Phone, a new entry into the satellite phone service market. SPOT says that their device provides a clearer and more reliable connect than other options currently available, and it does so in a smaller package.

The Global Phone comes equipped with a battery that reportedly offers 4 hours of talk time and 36 hours of standby. The phone itself weighs just 7.1 ounces (201 grams) and measures 5.3 inches (13.5 cm) in length. It has a memory capacity of 99 internally stored numbers, features an LCD screen with 4 lines with 12 character per line and with an optional data kit it can serve as satellite connection for a laptop as well. It is rated to operate in temperatures ranging from -20ºC/-4ºF to +55ºC/+131ºF.

According to their coverage maps, Global Phone users will get good service throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Northern Africa and the Middle East are also nicely covered, but most of sub-Saharan Africa and India are left out of the coverage zones. Expanded coverage is coming later this year, but there doesn’t appear to be any plans to address these dead zones at the moment.

SPOT is offering a number of service plans on both a monthly and annual basis. Those plans start as low as $24.99 per month and include a bucket of pre-paid minutes, voice mails, text messages and more. Frequent users will appreciate the $150/month plans that offer unlimited calls, while those with more meager needs will find plenty of choices as well.

The phone itself is scheduled to go on sale in the next few weeks and will carry a cost of $499.

Kraig Becker