Edit: Forgot to put in links:
GE864 Evaluation board at Sparkfun: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=9311
GE864 Page at Telit.com: http://www.telit.com/en/products.php?p_id=3&p_ac=show&p=11
So we're going into the Outback UAV challenge and I've been brainstorming ideas about a backup communication system as it's not really desirable to lose primary communication at all. So I know the Aerosonde guys use satellite data packets for their backup telemetry (namely iridium), but having looked at their prices and latency I don't think it's a good option. Enter the GE864. I'm currently working with it at my day job and it's a fantastic little unit with so much functionality it's almost silly. It has an in-built python interpreter with 1MB of program memory which is pretty good. It also has a slew of GPIO and emulated bus protocols such as SPI, I2C, etc that can be multiplexed onto the pins.
If they wanted to, I'm sure someone could make an Autopilot out of it, but I am more interested in it as a backup communication method. With a suitable antenna, at the altitudes and speeds which we fly at, we should be able to get GPRS reception in most areas. Would it be viable as a platform for sending intermittent telemetry to a internet-connected ground station?
If so, one could write a python application that accepted a serial input (such as the one you would normally send to a radio) and send it to a specific IP address.