A Russian company called Yaliny is planning to launch its own network of satellites, enabling smartphone users to circumvent traditional communications providers and access satellite communications. Any phone using at least iOS 7.1 or Android 2.3.x will be able to connect to the satellite system using Yaliny's intermediary hardware and a free app.
The intermediary hardware -- dubbed 'Yaliny Point' -- will be made available for $150, with $10 charged monthly thereafter. This cellphone-sized hardware will be able to maintain about ten hours of phone or web use and can connect via WiFi or Bluetooth.
Yaliny hopes to launch 135 low earth orbit satellites to provide worldwide coverage and enough bandwidth to offer each customer speeds of 2 megabytes per second, including downloads and uploads. Between 30 and 40 ground stations will aid in routing phone calls and data transmissions.