While most mobile networks promise coverage to a certain percentage of the population, the fact that some parts of Australia don't have people means that there are huge blackspots. A new phone company - Indigo Telecom - promises coverage to 100 percent of the Aussie landmass by using satellites, but at an affordable price.
According to the Indigo press release, only 28% of Australia is covered by 3G reception. And while satellite phones are nothing new, but they have historically been pretty damn expensive. Indigo Telecom is promising call rates of $1 per minute for Indigo to Indigo calls and $1.30 a minute to other networks.
Indigo reckons that there are about a million Australians who could make use of the service in regional and remote areas of Australia, as well as a range of people who could connect on boats in Australian waters.
They'll be offering a couple of different handsets from Thuruya, including the rugged Thuruya XT and the satellite/GSM compatible Thuruya SG. But because they use a satellite network, you won't be able to connect using your iPhone.
As an aside, the Indigo Telecom website is completely useless at the moment, but hopefully they'll get their act together and offer details to potential customers soon...