Optus has today announced the milestone achievement of 100% mobile coverage across Australia, though they’ve had to resort to the use of satellite to cover the last portions of the continent using Thuraya’s Satsleeve+ and SatSleeve Hotspot technology.
The Satsleeve+ is an add-on for your Android or iOS to add satellite connectivity, with use of a universal adaptor found inside the packaging. The Satsleeve Hotspot is more your regular Wi-Fi hotspot, though it obviously connects to the satellite service than 3G/4G and has the bonus of delivering voice as well as SMS in addition to data.
Both devices cost $899, and require a minimum $15 per month additional plan, though it’s available on a month-to-month basis.
The Satsleeve products both use Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth for connection, an improvement over the previous model and a new, free SatSleeve Hotspot app that’s available now on Google Play, will help you control your setup.
Paul Sheridan, Vice President of Optus Satellite, acknowledged the vastness of the Australian continent and sees the Satsleeve as a way for consumers working in industries such as mining to benefit from satellite coverage, saying
In a country as vast as ours, living and working in remote areas is increasingly common. We know that the resources and mining sector boom has seen large workforces stationed in remote locations. With a SatSleeve, people can stay in touch when outside of mobile range.
The Satsleeve+ and Satsleeve Hotspot are available to order from Optus Satellite right now.