Sunday, July 5, 2009

Satellite for convergence of cellphones, satellite phones launched

A new satellite designed to allow the convergence of cellphones and satellite phones throughout the U.S. was successfully launched Thursday, mobile communications provider TerreStar announced.

Weighing 6,910 kg, TerreStar-1 is the largest commercial satellite ever and was launched by Arianespace from Kourou, French Guiana Tuesday.

The satellite will deliver voice, data and video services to the entire US. Its 20-metre antennae are large enough to beam satellite signals to mobile phones, which TerreStar hopes to launch later this year. The satellite component will allow users to use voice, email and data communications all over the US, even when there is no cellphone coverage.

"With the successful launch of TerreStar-1, we are redefining the mobile communications landscape," said Dennis Matheson, chief technology officer of TerreStar. "We are creating a new paradigm in mobile broadband network services to enable true ubiquity and reliability - anywhere in the United States and Canada."


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