Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mobile Satellite Ventures Awarded New ATC Patent

Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) was awarded another U.S. patent for its advanced Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) technology. The new patent covers wireless communications systems in which user devices receive information from terrestrial base stations using terrestrial frequencies (e.g., cellular/PCS frequencies) but relay information back to the base stations using satellite frequencies.

In accordance with the patent, a system enabled to use terrestrial frequencies may use all of its terrestrial frequencies to maximize capacity from base stations to user devices while relying on satellite frequencies for return link communications.

According to Dr. Peter D. Karabinis, Senior Vice President & Chief Technical Officer of MSV and inventor of the '708 Patent, the patent may be most relevant to broadband broadcast systems that require return signaling channels to enable a diverse array of interactive services.

  • In May 2006, Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) and its joint venture partner, MSV Canada, announced an agreement with Boeing to accelerate the deployment of its two North American satellites, which will form the backbone of its satellite-cellular wireless communications network. The agreement will move up, by approximately eight months, the construction, launch and operations of each of the two North American satellites, with the launch of the U.S. satellite scheduled for mid-2009 and the Canadian satellite in early 2010. These two new satellites will replace and expand upon the current MSAT satellite system operated by MSV and MSV Canada. The development of the third satellite for South America, MSV-SA, has been deferred to the third delivery position for the MSV system.

  • Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) technology allows existing satellite phone spectrum to also be used in dedicated terrestrial networks. Call capacity is managed and reallocated, in real time, between satellite and terrestrial networks via a common control center. Calls can be made over either network using the same phone handset. ATC technology could be used to supplement satellite phone service with a ground-based network to provide a "back-up" signal in and around buildings where satellite signals cannot reach.