Satellite-To-Cell Phone Service Test Called Successful

Existing satellites with minor modifications to CDMA 2000 and base station gear were used to show that Mobile Satellite Ventures's planned hybrid wireless network works.
Suitcase-sized satellite phones may make way for standard cell phone handsets, according to Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV), which said Wednesday it has successfully tested a satellite link to a standard CDMA cell phone.

MSV said it used its existing satellites with minor modifications to CDMA 2000 and base station gear to prove the concept of its planned hybrid wireless network.

“Before this demonstration, there were some who doubted the feasibility of full satellite compatibility with a standard handset,” said COO Mark Faris in a statement. The network envisioned by MSV would feature mobile satellite connections with an integrated Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) with both using a common mainstream wireless air interface.

In an interview, Frank DeMaria, MSV spokesman, said standard cell phones with slight modifications would be able to be used by subscribers to mobile wireless service providers to seamlessly connect in wide regions including rural and remote areas. He added that a commercial launch could take place in two to three years.

MSV used two geosynchronous satellites in the demo and said both voice and data content were transmitted successfully with 99.96 percentage of call completion “with exceptional voice quality and with virtually no delay.”

The firm, which noted that it received the first ATC license granted by the FCC, said it has hundreds of ATC patents.

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