Satellite Gets Permission For Terrestrial Service

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The satellite phone operator Globalstar says that it has been granted authority from the USA's telecoms regulator the 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 a conventional terrestial mobile phone service in addition to their satellite service.

Globalstar demonstrated the feasibility of ATC service in New York and Washington in July 2002 by pairing a modification of its dual mode satellite/cellular phone with a small, transportable base station. ATC base stations will be similar in size and cost to cellular base stations and can be either fixed in one location or transportable for temporary operation.

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.

Globalstar is also currently participating in various foreign regulatory forums in order that it may apply for similar ATC products and service type approvals in other countries.

Because of its ability to provide both cellular type and satellite communications, ATC product has the potential to become a valuable tool for emergency first responders, especially when challenged with disruptions in the local terrestrial or cellular networks.

"The five successive hurricanes of 2004 plus the severity of last year's hurricane season underscored the need for reliable communications in the event of an emergency," said Jay Monroe, CEO and Chairman of Globalstar LLC. Monroe went on to add, "we are extremely pleased with the decision made by the FCC, for it will allow Globalstar to continue its leadership role in the development of inexpensive, innovative communications solutions for emergency preparedness and worldwide business applications. It will also provide Globalstar with the mandate to continue to grow the overall satellite marketplace by expanding the scope of voice and broadband data solutions."

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Tags: fcc  satellite phone  globalstar  washington  indoor 

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