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Canadian Firm Plans Constellation of Low-Orbit Satellites for Mobile Backhaul

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Microsat Systems Canada (MSCI) has announced the development of a polar communications constellation comprised of 78 microsatellites that will orbit the Earth at 1,000 km, providing backhaul capacity while connecting remote regions of the Earth to the Internet.

"The influx of millions of data-hungry mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is causing unprecedented strain on mobile networks, which have already reached, or are nearing, capacity," explains David R. Cooper, President and CEO, MSCI. "COMMStellation will provide essential backhaul capacity to mobile operators across the globe,"

"While demand for backhaul bandwidth grows exponentially, there is downward pressure on consumer wireless pricing," explains Michael Neuman, former CEO of Bell ExpressVu Satellite TV and Founder of Elevest Corporation. "This situation, together with the need to reach economically challenged population centers, calls for an innovative, low-cost satellite solution."

O3b (Other Three Billion), a network service provider, is launching an initial constellation of eight medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites into space at an altitude of 8,000 km to address the backhaul market for the "other three billion" - i.e. those with limited or no access to the Internet.

In comparison, MSCI's microsatellite technology enables a constellation of 78 polar low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites at 1,000 km above the Earth - in other words, an orbit eight times closer to the customer. The company said that its COMMStellation will provide over five times the data bandwidth density, even at the equator, for the same satellite output, and all for hundreds of millions less cost.

"We are looking for service providers who want to improve service to their customers, technology partners who can bring complementary technologies to the COMMStellation initiative, military or industrial leaders who are looking for strategic communications to and from remote areas, and governments that want to improve the lives of all citizens - not only those who live in well served urban areas," says Mr. Cooper.

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Tags: satellite  backhaul  military  Canada