Overcoming a delay of several months, AT&T on Tuesday introduced the TerreStar Genus, the first phone in the AT&T lineup to provide satellite-based connectivity throughout the U.S. as well as terrestrial third-generation (3G) wireless coverage. Priced at $799, the new device provides wireless customers with voice and data coverage, via the TerreStar satellite, in remote areas of the U.S. where AT&T’s terrestrial 3G network cannot reach. Launched last year, TerreStar-1 ranks as the largest telecommunications satellite in existence and provides coverage of the continental U.S., Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands from the 111° West Longitude orbital location. Following on last year’s launch, AT&T and partner TerreStar Networks had aimed to roll out the Genus smart phone during the first quarter of this year but postponed that plan for six months to complete device and network testing. Unlike traditional satellite phones that tend to be bulky, the Genus phone is lightweight and resembles a slightly thicker BlackBerry. Featuring a 2.6-inch touch screen and a full-alphabet keyboard, the Genus runs on the Windows 6.5 mobile operating system and enables users to switch to satellite coverage with the touch of an on-screen button. The device will retail at $799 with no contract, and customers will be required to purchase one of AT&T’s existing 3G voice and data plans as well as a separate $25 monthly plan that provides satellite coverage. The rate for satellite calls will be $0.65 per minute, with text messaging and data transmissions to be priced at $0.40 per message and $5.00 per megabyte, respectively. Users will also have to ensure a clear line of sight to the southern sky to ensure satellite-based reception. AT&T plans to market Genus satellite phone services to government agencies, utilities, “corporate responsibility” customers, and prospective subscribers in the transportation, energy and shipping sectors. The service may eventually face competition from the Harbinger-SkyTerra venture, which expects to roll out its hybrid satellite/fourth generation wireless “LightSquared” network throughout the U.S. next year.