Thuraya claims SG-2520 satellite phone reaches parts other networks can't.

Forget worrying about mobile coverage if you venture outside Europe, satellite phone handset maker Thuraya says its latest handset is the only triband phone that can operate on GSM mobile networks in Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and North America.

Thuraya also says the SG-2520 is the world's and lightest smallest dual-band satellite phone, weighing a relatively modest 170g. While nowhere near as lightweight as handsets such as BlackBerry's Pearl, the SG-2520 is a comparable weight to other smartphones such as the Palm Treo 680 and some Windows Mobile 6 handsets such as Motorola's Q9.

In itself, this an achievement: until recently, satellite phones were mostly unwieldy devices more akin to the hefty mobile phone handsets of the late 80s than the slim gadgetry we've become accustomed to.

Satellite phones such as this one receive signals from a geostationary satellite around 22,000 miles from Earth and require large antennae in order to communicate with them. Satellite phones have been used for many years for marine communications, where ships may be out of range of standard mobile phone networks for weeks or months at a time. In such situations, the physical size of the handset was not especially important.

Smaller handsets have recently been developed that are suitable for extremely remote locations where portability, long standby times and low set-up costs are critical. Thurya's SG-2520, for example, has a standby time of 75 hours, with a talk-time of four-and-a-half hours.

The SG-2520 has a 1.9in colour screen, a 1.3Mp camera, 128MB internal memory with an SD Card slot for removable memory, Bluetooth and a WAP browser and offers multimedia applications via its Java support.

Thuraya says the SG-2520 can be used in more than 110 different countries fact, while the GPS (global positioning system) feature can be used universally for navigation.

Thuraya SG-2520

Thuraya SG-2520