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World's First Satellite That Can Communicate With a Cell Phone
Posted: 12-Apr-2005 [Source: Mobile Satellite Ventures]

[TerreStar to deploy hybrid satellite network providing seamless wireless services to North America.]

McLean, VA -- TerreStar Networks Inc. announced that it has commenced physical construction of the TerreStar-1 satellite. The contract for design and development of this powerful transparency class satellite is with Space Systems/Loral (SS/L). Construction is currently well-underway at SS/L's facility in California. TerreStar also added an option that will allow for construction of a second satellite - TerreStar-2.

TerreStar-1, with an antenna almost sixty feet across, will be able to communicate with terrestrial base stations and standard wireless devices. Along with its joint venture partner TMI Communications Inc. (TMI), TerreStar will utilize spectrum re-use to deploy a hybrid network that will provide high quality, cost-effective, seamless wireless services to urban, rural and remote regions of North America. TerreStar will be able to provide economical, fully interoperable, and redundant wireless services by achieving a very high frequency re-use factor over the entire network footprint. TerreStar-1 will be the world's most powerful commercial mobile satellite capable of generating hundreds of spot beams to provide coverage of the fifty United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada.

The TerreStar-1 satellite will operate in a Canadian orbital slot licensed to TMI. The system will be operational by the end of 2008 with a planned service life of fifteen years.

Wharton B. (Zie) Rivers Jr., president and chief executive officer of TerreStar, said "We have been working with SS/L over the last several years and are excited to reach this important milestone. We are confident that this is the partnership that will deliver us through construction to launch of the TerreStar satellite system. Capturing the benefits of an ancillary terrestrial component (ATC), TerreStar-1 will provide innovative, cost-effective wireless services to consumers throughout North America."

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