Satellite Radio: Business is Booming

Proposed Mobile - Satellite Systems Will Offer Users a Wide Range of Services

Offering "truly universal communications" to users wherever they may be, mobile satellite systems (MSAT) are expected to be in operation as early as 1987.

The FCC has already released 8 MHz of spectrum in the 800-MHz band for land-mobile satellite services. Those planning to build and operate the systems claim they will be able to provide communications anywhere--land, sea or in the air.

Users who take advantage of the developing MSAT systems will be offered telephone service in thinly populated areas (thin routes) where hard-wire systems are impractical.

Users will be offered data transmission from remote arewas for geophysical exploration, oil and gas service industries; mobile-radio telephone service including cellular interpretability for roamers; emergency communications; remote control and monitoring services; coast-to-coast position location and surveillance; alphanumeric messaging; dispatch and paging services; and gateway-to-gateway fixed services using backhaul links.

Orbiting geostationary satellites would become extension of ground-based communications systems. The concept is viewed as an extension of the terrestrial cellular-mobile communications systems.

The proposed systems would use large-aperture antennas and multiple spot beams to provide mobile communications and radio termination services to users that cannot be economically systems.