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Satellites free the mobile phone

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A variety of satellite systems, soon to go into orbit, will bounce voice and data between wireless handheld phones anywhere on Earth. Peripatetic users will be able to switch at will between conventional terrestrial service and the new satellite systems wherever they roam. Some of the satellite-based land mobile services are or will be worldwide, others cover broad geographical regions. All are characterized by the magnitude of the capital being invested-in the billions of US dollars-and by sweeping transnational business alliances. Virtually every one of these wireless efforts has given rise to international partnerships, often involving satellite manufacturers, cellular service providers, electronic equipment companies, and telecommunications entities. In addition, satellite systems are going into orbit to supply other services besides dialup telephones.

Published in:

Spectrum, IEEE  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 3 )