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Satellite systems for personal communications

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1 Author(s)
Evans, J.V. ; COMSAT Corp., Bethesda, MD, USA

A number of industrial groups are planning to construct satellite systems to provide personal communications services (typically voice, data, and fax) to users who will employ small, hand-held, cellular-type telephones. Some of these systems (e.g., Iridium and Globalstar) will be constructed using satellites in low Earth orbit. Two (Odyssey and ICO) will employ medium Earth orbit (six-hour period), and still others (ACeS and Agrani) will operate from geostationary altitude. The origin and evolution of mobile satellite communications is discussed first, including the INMARSAT system and several land-based mobile satellite systems in operation. The rival approaches to the personal communications services (PCS) market are then described, and some of the technical challenges inherent in each are indicated. The paper concludes with speculation on the factors influencing the likelihood of business success for the various PCS systems

Published in:

Antennas and Propagation Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 3 )