Sunday, April 13, 2008

ICO Successfully Launches G1 Satellite for Mobile TV

ICO Global Communications announced the successful launch of its North American geosynchronous satellite, ICO G1, on board an Atlas V 421 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. ICO G1, which was constructed by Space Systems/Loral using the Loral 1300 platform, has a total mass of 6634kg, making it the largest satellite ever launched by an Atlas rocket, and is the largest commercial satellite ever launched.

ICO is planning to offer a converged mobile media service called "mim" that addresses a wide variety of consumers' entertainment, information, and two-way communication needs: live and stored mobile TV in vehicles, interactive navigation, and roadside assistance, all with nationwide coverage. ICO mim will provide multiple channels of high-quality mobile video to portable, larger-screen (4.5 to 10 inch) user devices.

The ICO G1 satellite will operate in the 2 GHz S-band and will provide coverage to the United States and most of North America. It S-band antenna has an aperture of 12 meters and was built by Harris Corporation. ICO G1 also pioneers the use of a ground-based beam forming (GBBF) system for both satellite-receive and satellite-transmit directions. The company expects that GBBF will provide unprecedented flexibility in operation for the spacecraft to form S-band antenna beams, flexibility in assigning frequencies and power, and will accommodate any modulation protocol within ICO's licensed spectrum. GBBF can form up to 250 transmit and 250 receive independent S-band beams.

ICO will be conducting alpha trials for its fully interactive mobile video, navigation and emergency assistance service to be known as ICO mim (mobile interactive media) later this year. The mobile television component of ICO mim will use the DVB-SH standard, and is the first deployment of DVB-SH in the United States.

"With our launch of ICO G1, ICO is now poised to deliver a new generation of mobile services for consumers," commented Tim Bryan, chief executive officer of ICO. "We look forward to meeting our 12th and final FCC milestone by May 15, 2008, when we anticipate certifying that ICO G1 is operational. Later this summer we will commence market trials in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina for our mobile interactive media service, ICO mim, which we expect to launch commercially later in 2009."