Teledesic has announced an agreement with the Italian satellite manufacturer Alenia Spazio SpA, a Finmeccanica company, to build satellites for Teledesic's global, broadband Internet-in-the-Sky satellite communications network.
"Our agreement with Alenia Spazio is an important step toward developing our global broadband satellite communications network," said Teledesic President Dennis James. "This agreement with a well-respected international satellite manufacturer as our partner enables us to begin deploying our system economically."
Alenia Spazio has extensive experience building satellite constellations. Alenia Spazio was responsible for the assembly, integration and testing of the 72 satellites built for Globalstar at a dedicated factory -- the Integration Satellite Center -- with a peak rate of one satellite per week.
The company also is a leader in designing and manufacturing Ka-band satellites. Alenia Spazio was the first satellite manufacturer to build and launch, in 1991, a geostationary Ka-band satellite: Italsat F1.
The agreement covers construction of Teledesic's first two satellites. Teledesic is negotiating with Alenia Spazio and other leading satellite manufacturers for the remainder of its satellites.
Teledesic has developed an improved satellite network design that allows the company to provide commercial service with fewer satellites at a significantly reduced cost.
The new constellation design features 30 medium-Earth-orbit satellites. The first 12 satellites are expected to cost under $1 billion, substantially less than previous system designs, and will allow the company to begin continuous commercial service in several areas of the world.
The next 18 satellites will enable full global coverage capability. This innovative design will facilitate spectrum sharing between Teledesic and other future non-geostationary Ka-band satellites.
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Satellite Constellations Running Out Of Deckchairs
Los Angeles - Nov 6, 2001
The satellite constellation industry is in more turmoil than ever with ICO and Teledesic suspending merger discussions as both companies decide to go their separate ways in a bid to interest investors in their differing concepts.
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