I find it somewhat awkward that there is cell phone coverage at the top of Mount Everest. However, there are many dead places in my neighborhood. One way to get guaranteed cell phone coverage anywhere around the globe is to own a satellite smartphone, and presently you can transform your existing smartphone into a satellite phone by just sliding it into a case.
Just slide on your sleeve and VOILA! You have a satellite smartphone.
In addition to offering support for SMS messages and calls, the latest SatSleeves also have satellite data functionalities for emails, instant messaging, navigation, etc.
Yes, calls and data will cost you a good price (do not be surprised if they add up to several dollars per minute, depending on where you want to use your phone). But for those moments when you just have to make or receive that call, nothing beats a satellite phone.
The SatSleeve comes in three flavors:
- SatSleeve for iPhone: the adapter for iPhone 5 / 5s is inside the package (adapters for iPhone 4 / 4s and iPhone 6 / 6S are available through Thuraya Service Partners)
- SatSleeve for Android: the adapter for Samsung Galaxy S4 is inside the package (adapters for Samsung Galaxy S3 and S5 are available through Thuraya Service Partners)
- SatSleeve +: a universal case compatible with a variety of iPhones and Android devices.
There is also a version of Hotspot that is more of a desktop-mounted satellite phone hub, unlike a case that fits your existing smartphone.
The SatSleeve also has a built-in rechargeable battery to extend the battery life of your smartphone, and there is an optional solar charger for those occasions when your adventures take you away from an outlet.
The SatSleeve is not a cheap solution, it costs around $499, but if you need coverage where there is no ground transportation service, this might be what you need