Ancillary Terrestrial Component

 There’s no question certain wireless markets are operating at peak capacity. U.S. operators such as AT&T simply can’t expand their bandwidth fast enough. This is especially true in New York and San Francisco. Verizon Wireless is hooking up their towers with 10 GB fiber connections. So what’s the solution after Verizon gets the iPhone on their network? LTE, no doubt.




But how much longer will that last? I suspect they’ll pin the network needle rather quickly. Is this when satcom comes in to help? The P-E folks at Harbinger and Nokia Siemens certainly hope so. They’ve got a nice chunk of change invested in LightSquared, a new wholesale play that just launched a spacecraft…

The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the cosmodrome at 11:29 p.m. today local time (12:29 p.m. EST, 17:29 GMT)  After a 9 hour 14 minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the SkyTerra 1 satellite, weighing over 5.3 metric tons, into geostationary transfer orbit.  This was the 361st launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 63nd ILS Proton launch overall. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the Russian space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.

The SkyTerra 1 satellite, to be located at 101.3 degrees West, was built on the Boeing 702HP platform designed for geomobile services with an estimated lifetime of fifteen years. The SkyTerra 1 satellite features a 22-meter L-band reflector-based antenna — the largest commercial antenna reflector to be put into service. SkyTerra 1 will be among the first to combine satellite and terrestrial technologies for use in standard handsets and other devices. The 4G-LTE network offered by SkyTerra 1 will also be the first to provide wireless coverage to 100% of the population of the United States.

Here’s the spectacle…


LightSquared’s mission for SkyTerra-1 is to act as an ATC —  Ancillary Terrestrial Component. This may be the only way to make satcom pay for providing service to handhelds. Stay tuned, rocket scientists.