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COMSAT URGES FCC TO SUPPORT COMPETITION IN HAND-HELD COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES; COMPANY FILES FORMAL COMMENTS WITH FCC

 BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- COMSAT Mobile Communications filed comments today with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting competition in the development of global, hand-held telephone services.
 In its filing, COMSAT stated that the company's involvement in the development of Inmarsat's portable land mobile service, referred to as Inmarsat-P, will enhance U.S. competitiveness, generate U.S. jobs and provide consumers with the benefits of marketplace competition.
 COMSAT's comments were in response to a petition by Motorola Satellite Communications asking the FCC to prohibit COMSAT from participating in the development of Inmarsat-P. Motorola has announced plans for an alternative system, known as Iridium.
 "COMSAT strongly supports fair marketplace competition," said Bruce Crockett, president and CEO of COMSAT Corporation (NYSE: CQ). "Consumers and the U.S. economy will be best served by competing hand- held satellite services."
 In its filing, COMSAT highlighted a recent Arthur D. Little, Inc. study, estimating that COMSAT's involvement with Inmarsat activities, including Inmarsat-P, will directly generate more than 26,000 U.S. jobs by the year 2000. Many of these new, high-tech jobs will occur in the communities and industries most affected by military cutbacks.
 The comments noted that Inmarsat services have strengthened the U.S. aerospace industry. Through COMSAT, the largest signatory with 23 percent ownership, Inmarsat has awarded more than $1 billion to U.S. manufacturers since the consortium's inception in 1979. Continuing this trend, contracts have already been awarded to several U.S. aerospace companies involved with development of Inmarsat-P. In a strong show of support, more than 10 U.S. manufacturers and users of Inmarsat services including Martin Marietta, Magnavox and Hughes Aircraft, filed letters with the FCC in support of COMSAT's participation in Inmarsat-P.
 In contrast, Motorola is expected to own only 15 percent of Iridium, with much of the foreign ownership likely to be concentrated in Pacific Rim countries with growing high-tech manufacturing sectors.
 COMSAT also referred to a study by Deloitte Touche demonstrating that Inmarsat's structure does not provide any significant competitive advantages over similar, private mobile satellite providers. COMSAT noted that the costs and rigidities resulting from Inmarsat's intergovernmental structure have led the Inmarsat Council to consider radically changing or abolishing the consortium's existing structure.
 "COMSAT strongly supports the restructuring of Inmarsat and is spearheading efforts to transform Inmarsat into a more commercial and competitive organization," said Crockett.
 In referring Motorola's claims, COMSAT noted that it is authorized under the Inmarsat Act to participate in the Inmarsat-P project. According to COMSAT, Inmarsat-P service will make satellite communications services more widely available to maritime users, furthering COMSAT's statutory responsibilities. The filing points out that, "as Iridium's own traffic projections demonstrate, large numbers of maritime users will opt to use hand-held communications services when they become available."
 COMSAT stated, however, that restricting Inmarsat-P to maritime users alone would not be economically feasible and that provision of Inmarsat-P service to land-based users is essential to COMSAT's ability to provide the benefits of advances in satellite communications to maritime users.
 "COMSAT (and Inmarsat) could not retain their competitive viability if blocked from developing and offering services based upon new advances in technology," the filing stated.
 COMSAT Mobile Communications, a division of COMSAT Corporation, provides maritime, aeronautical and international land mobile services to customers around the world through the global Inmarsat satellite system. COMSAT Corporation is an international communications, information and entertainment-distribution services company. It is the largest owner and user of global Inmarsat and INTELSAT communications satellite networks.
 -0- 12/9/93
 /CONTACT: Kristan De La Rosa of COMSAT, 301-428-2493/
 (CQ)


CO: COMSAT Mobile Communications; COMSAT Corporation; Federal
 Communications Commission; Motorola Satellite Communications ST: Maryland IN: TLS SU:


KD-DC -- DC035 -- 2387 12/09/93 17:16 EST
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Date:Dec 9, 1993
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