Staying connected has always been a problems for mobile users around the world. The situation is not so bad in the developed countries but if you are travelling to some remote place in sub Saharan Africa or the remote parts of India than you are in serious trouble with the network. Now iPhone users have a choice of staying connected even in the remotest of places through the satellite service provider Thuraya's new SatSleeve case.
If you remember the bulky Satellite cell phones manufactured by Thuraya than you may know that they are clunky and looks more like a walkie talkie than a phone. Now Thuraya has plans to change all that with a device called SatSleeve. SatSleeve is a case which wraps or docks around iPhone and uses its bluetooth to covert iPhone into a satellite phone.
SatSleeve will operate using the Thuraya Satellite network which at present is available over Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The Satellite covers the most remotest parts of the world in Africa and Asia like the Mount Everest and Kakoram range of mountains or the vast waters of Indian Ocean.
The SatSleeve at present is available only for iPhone 4 & 4S but iPhone 5 users can get a cradle attachment. The SatSleeve will provide you basic voice and SMS services in the areas that aren't connected with GSM or CDMA technology.
The SatSleeve will come with its own 2400 mAh LioN battery which will have 48 hours of standby time and 3 hours of talk time. It will come with 12 languages support including English, Chinese, Italian, German, Arabic, Russian and Bahasa Indonesian among others. The SatSleeve will at another 3.5. ounces to your iPhone.
The SatSleeve fits around the iPhone just like a standard case and comes with its own SIM, earpiece and microphone which will make it independent of the iPhone. In case of emergency a button located on the device can be preset to one specific number. SatSleeve uses a free App to communicate with the iPhone over Bluetooth, though the company plans to launch a model which will communicate via a more stable Wi-Fi connection.
As of now Thuraya plans to launch only text and voice only version of the SatSleeve but by August it will launch data capable version though data capability is still in it pre natal days. SatSleeve will be available to users for a expected price of $499 and the data friendly version could be in $600-$800 range. Thuraya says that Android versions could follow as soon as June 2013.
Thuraya airtime costs around $0.75 per minute so making calls wont be cheap. But if you are working in the Navy, a Journalist, a Photographer, a Explorer or a simple backpacker this is a must for you. Check out the docking video below to get a idea how the SatSleeve works.