OpenMoko satellite phone?

Razvan Dragomirescu razvan.dragomirescu at
Tue Aug 26 18:54:14 CEST 2008

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone here had considered creating a satellite phone
based on OpenMoko hardware. I've been giving it some thought and I think it
should be doable. I was thinking about the Thuraya Module SM-2500 module ( We have been using it
here for another project and it's quite versatile. It's basically a
phone/modem combo with a 100 pin interface that exposes a variety of signals
(including microphone input, speaker output, a client USB port, 2 UARTs,
etc). It has a builtin GPS receiver and it can be made to work with a small
omnidirectional quadrifilar helix antenna. And it's cheap too, it costs less
than 200 EUR in small volumes.

It allows for voice communication and data (both CSD at 9600bps and GmPRS
which is a GPRS-like connection, 15kbps on the uplink, 60kbps on the
downlink). They've even made sure the AT commands used to talk to the module
are the same as the ones used in GSM world (so you basically do AT+CGDCONT
to set the GmPRS APN, then you do ATD*99# to connect the GmPRS satellite
data session, etc).

The downside is that it does not have coverage in the Americas, although it
covers over 170 countries (
Data costs about $5/MB and calls can be as low as $0.20 to another satellite
terminal and $0.39 to anywhere else in the world (

More information about the hardware mailing list