1) Got a Spot Messenger Account? Get a Free SatPhone

satphone with laptopYes, there’s fine print. First, you have to add a SatPhone plan to your Spot account and to get the satPhone FREE, you need to add the TOP plan, which gives you unlimited SatPhone minutes (doesn’t everybody want that plan anyway?). So how much will that plan set you back? $1800 for the year, or $150/month for a 12-month activation. Now before you choke, there are people who might actually get that much use out of a satphone, especially when you take into consideration that you can use this particular satphone for data as well. Keep in mind, you’ll need a view of clear sky (you can’t do a satphone indoors, even if they show such a thing in the movies). Also, Spot’s coverage isn’t QUITE global. (See a coverage map before you buy.) Learn more about plans here…

Learn more about Spot SatPhones here…

Read more about the rebate here…

3) Thuraya to Release a “SatSleeve” for iPhones

Perhaps you first saw it here, at PC Magazine’s website:,2817,2416920,00.asp

Or maybe you were actually scanning Thuraya’s own website. (“How do you know if you’re a real rugged cross-cultural worker?” You regularly scan satphone websites, right? Just kidding.)

Either way, it’s coming — if you have an iPhone 4 or 4S. Take a look at the Thuraya page. It’s basically a satellite adaptor for an iPhone. Download the brochure, get the factsheet, and start dreaming. Once it’s launched, it should provide your iPhone with virtually uninterrupted coverage throughout Europe, Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Australia. It’ll probably set you back $500 or so, with the average outgoing voice call running $1.25 per minute. Many feel that incoming text messages will be free. Those with an iPhone 5 will have to wait for the wi-fi version, which will run upwards of $700. Of course, those of us who believe in a CASE for our iPhone will have to struggle to get our unit in and out of the case before sleeving up. hassle. :-) But if you’re hiking that five-day trip out to the foothills of the Himalayas to visit that outlying tribe in Arunachal Pradesh, this would be worth its weight in gold. No cell towers out there. :-)

(Keith, thanks for taking time to submit this item from the Balkans!)

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