Optus has today announced they will be selling the Thuraya SatSleeve in selected stores, allowing Australians in remote and regional areas to access high quality voice and data services anywhere in Australia.
The sleeve which attaches to most phones, including Android handsets, transform your 3G/4G smartphone into a satellite phone. Previously Optus has sold the sleeves online, but from today the sleeve will be available in selected stores across Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory, with more stores to follow in coming months.
The SatSleeve works essentially anywhere. Steve Long, Director of Local Markets at Optus says ‘As long as they have a SatSleeve and a direct line of sight to the sky, they can make calls, send SMS or check their emails across Australia’.
The SatSleeve connects to your mobile using a Wi-Fi connection and the SatSleeve Hotspot app. Data, SMS and calls are then routed through to the mobile phone.
Mr long said of the target audience for SatSleeve
With our 4G mobile network expanding rapidly, we know this is a product that isn’t necessary for most people. But for fly-in fly-out workers in mining or gas exploration locations, to grey nomads and tourists traversing our expansive country, the SatSleeve provides coverage to even the most isolated parts of Australia.
It’s not a free service, as well as additional charges for call, SMS and data usage when using the satellite network, you’ll also have to shell out for the SatSleeve itself which Optus sells outright for $888 or on a 24-month plan for $37 per month. You’ll also have to pay the satellite access cost of $15 month to month.
Mr Long said of the costs, ‘By rolling out the Optus SatSleeve to our retail stores and providing a pay-over-time option, we are hoping to make mobile connectivity in remote locations easier and more accessible than ever before.’
The SatSleeve will be available in stores, check with your local Optus dealer in Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory for more information.