Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Globalstar: FCC Grants ATC

From the Globalstar press release:

" Globalstar LLC (GLLC), a world leader in providing mobile satellite voice and data services to business, announced today that it has been granted authority from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer Ancillary Terrestrial Component services (ATC) in the U.S. in conjunction with its mobile satellite services.

ATC authority allows Globalstar to use 11 MHz of its 1.6/2.4 GHz satellite radio frequencies for a complementary terrestrial wireless service permitting the company to develop integrated mobile voice and data solutions virtually anywhere including urban areas and indoors.

Using terrestrial ATC base stations and/or repeaters to complement the satellite service, Globalstar will be able to offer services in indoor or downtown urbanized areas that have traditionally limited mobile satellite coverage. Globalstar’s primary ATC applications will be the enhancement of wireless service in urban areas, where buildings and other infrastructure can physically block satellite signals, and the provisioning of self-contained, transportable local area networks for remote locations or where communications are disrupted during disasters and emergencies. "

There is much more information at Daily Wireless:

"Now, recent developments in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosychronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite phones may re-shape the industry. Terrestrial repeaters and spot beams are enabling smaller, cheaper, faster handsets and better service."

"The MSS satellite band is next to the new Advanced Wireless Service (3G band) at 1710-1755 MHz and 2110-2155 MHz. It will be auctioned off this year for 3G/WiMAX services (see DailyWireless: 3G Band Scam?). The FCC's International Bureau works the MSS (mobile satellite) band.

Now a new generation of huge geostationary mobile satellites is being developed. They will use the MSS satellite spectrum and terrestrial repeaters. These new GEO satellites have giant 75 foot antennas (for spotbeam coverage) and terrestrial repeaters for better coverage inside and out.

The Ancillary Terrestrial Component (pdf) is the key. Satphone operators argue that terrestrial repeaters make the satellite phone business viable and competitive with cellular providers. Signals are stronger, they penetrate indoors, latency and costs are reduced. Mobile Satellite Ventures, perhaps the biggest proponent of repeaters, claims over 1300 patents on ATC technology."

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