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Proposed Mobile - Satelite Systems Will Offer Users a Wide Range of Services.

Offering "truly universal communications" to users wherever they may be, mobile satellite systems (MSAT) are expected to be in operation as early as 1987. The FCC has already released 8 MHz of spectrum in the 800-MHz band for land-mobile satellite services. Those planning to build and operate the systems claim they will be able to provide communications anywhere--land, sea or in the air.

Users who take advantage of the developing MSAT systems will beoffered telephone service in thinly populated areas (thin routes) where hard-wire systems are impractical. Users will be offered data transmission from remote arewas for geophysical exploration, oil and gas service industries; mobile-radio telephone service including cellular iteroperability for roamers; emergency communications; remote control and monitoring services; coast-to-coast position location and surveillance; alphanumeric messaging; dispatch and paging services; and gateway-to-gateway fixed services using backhaul links.

Orbiting geostationary satellites would become extension of ground-based communications systems. The concept is viewed as an extension of the terrestrial cellular-mobile communications systems. The proposed systems would use large-aperture antennas and multiple spot beams to provide mobile communications and radiotermination services to users that cannot be economically systems.

One of the most ambitious proposals for MSAT service has been put forth by Los Angeles-based Omninet. Providing radiotermination service and compatible thin-route communications, Omninet sa s it systems will offer efficent use of the spectrum orbital arc resources, which are capable of allowing million of users through of the U.S including alaska and Hawaii. Omninet will provide radiotermination services by using signals from the Navstar Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The space segment will consist of two in-orbit

Starsat satellites. User coverage at L and

S-band wil be provided by 16 transponders creating 17 beams, 15 for Conus coverage and one beam each for Alaska and Hawaii.

Another company planning to offer MSAT service is Mobile Satellite Corporation. Calling its service Mobilsat, the King of Prussia, Pennsylvania--based firm reports its services are offered primarily for the non-urban areas of the US, which it puts at 90 percent of the nation's areas and nearly 60 million residents.

Mobile Satellite Corporation will own and operate the satellites and the network operating center, with plans calling for the system to be operating by 1987, but no later than 1988. Telephone companies and radio common carriers will own gateways that provide the telephone interconnection.

Mobile telephone service, mobile-radio service, aeronautical service and rural telephone service will all be offered through a system Hughes Communications Mobile satellites Services is planning. The hughes MSAT system will rely on close cooperation with Canada, and a combination of the US and a proposed Canadian satellite will provide coverage to the continental US, Alaska and Canada.

The commission also received a license application for MSAT service from Boulder, Colorado-headquartered Skylink. The company's Skylink America service will be offered on an MSAT system designed to provide primary communications service to isolated areas of the U.S.

Scheduled to begin service in 1989, Skylink America srevices will be provided with the use of Personal Satellite Phones, which are small, weighing five pounds, and completely cordless. Along with mobile telephone service, mobile radio, rural telephones and two-way paging, the company plans to offer airline passenger telephones and air traffic control communications.

Wismer & Becker System Technologies of Sacramento, California, and Transit Communications of Pasadena, California, jointly filed an application with the FCC to build and operate an MSAT system to be known at Xina III. The system will only use L-ban spectrum, requiring no 800-MHz spectrum. W&B/TCI was able to avoid the objections of land-mobile radio organizations MSAT service by using only L-band spectrum. By not constraining the Xina III to be cellular-radio compatible, W&B/TCI believes it will be able to design a more cost-effective system using spectrum from a more-appropriate frequency band. In addition, W&B/TCI proposes to increase the number of customers served by its system by providing largely mobile data services rather than voice services.

For some of these proposed systems, Telesat Canada, the owner-operator of Canada's commercial communications satellites, will be the Canadian partner

Telesat, believes the early commercial success of MSAT initiatives in both countries would be enhanced considerably by a joint program development approach, under which it and the chosen US service provides would finalize separate domestic requirements and then cooperate in negotiating common or compatible systems requirements.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Communications News
Date:Aug 1, 1985
Words:722
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