Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Companies strike an agreement, opening way to greater L-band efficiency

SkyTerra Communications, Inmarsat, Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) and Mobile Satellite Ventures Canada have reached an agreement for L-Band operations in North America that will enable the re-banding and efficient reuse of a substantial segment of North American L-Band radio spectrum, the companies said last week.

The agreement, announced Dec. 21, encompasses business, technology, regulatory and spectrum coordination issues.

Highlights include:

  • Provisions for the re-banding of the parties’ spectrum over North America to create contiguous spectrum for operations to address growing broadband requirements for hybrid mobile satellite services (MSS) and ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) services.
  • Coordination parameters for the parties’ next-generation satellites covering North America, including the new Inmarsat-4s and the new MSV1 and MSV2 satellites, to increase spectrum efficiency and protect both MSS and ATC operations from harmful interference.
  • Resolution among the parties of outstanding U.S. and Canadian regulatory issues concerning each other’s operations.
  • Accommodating increased technical flexibility and system enhancements that result in greater ATC usage and operations while protecting MSS.

The agreement establishes a way for Inmarsat to modify its North American operations to enable MSV to make more extensive use of L-Band spectrum available for MSS/ATC than is possible today.

Provisions of the agreement are subject to regulatory approvals. Following the announcement, FCC chairman Kevin Martin issued a statement lauding the agreement and expressing his hope that it will lead to greater consumer flexibility and choice.

Television news crews have used the Inmarsat BGAN service for remote satellite phone and store-and-forward IP delivered reports. The agreement will ensure Inmarsat can grow its BGAN service in North America, said company CEO Andrew Sukawaty.

For more information, visit: www.inmarsat.com, www.msvlp.com and www.skyterra.com.

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