Satcoms provider Inmarsat officially entered the handheld satellite phone market on Monday with the launch of its first handheld device, the IsatPhone Pro.
Aimed squarely at "classic satellite phone users" in vertical industries - as well as rival satellite-phone operators like Thuraya and Iridium - the IsatPhone offers up to eight hours talk time and up to 100 hours on standby, which Inmarsat claims is the longest battery life of any handheld satellite phone in the business.
One thing the handset doesn't support is dual-mode GSM/satellite connectivity, one of the hallmarks of Thuraya's handheld satellite phones. But that's because Inmarsat's customers have expressed preference for a dedicated handset, Helen Stalker, GSPS commercial director for Inmarsat, told Show Daily.
Stalker adds that Inmarsat's global reach will give it a competitive edge over Thuraya's regional coverage.
Stalker says the IsatPhone is "competitively priced" at $699, although Inmarsat's channel partners may offer it for as low as $500.