ICO Launches Mobile Television Satellite

As ICO Global Communications demonstrated its ICO mim (mobile interactive media) service in Las Vegas during the NAB Show, the company launched a satellite that will use the DVB-SH standard for the service.

ICO held mobile demonstrations of its ICO mim service in a specially equipped car on April 16 and 17.

Also April 17, ICO launched the satellite ICO G1. ICO will be conducting alpha trials for ICO mim later this year.

It will be the first deployment of DVB-SH in the United States.

“With our launch of ICO G1, ICO is now poised to deliver a new generation of mobile services for consumers,” said ICO CEO Tim Bryan. “We look forward to meeting our 12th and final FCC milestone by May 15, 2008, when we anticipate certifying that ICO G1 is operational.”

The company plans market trials in Las Vegas and the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina for ICO mim, which it expect to launch commercially in 2009.

With a total mass of 6634kg, ICO G1 is the largest satellite ever launched by an Atlas rocket, and is the largest commercial satellite ever launched, the company said.

ICO G1 will operate in the 2 GHz S-band and will provide coverage to the United States and most of North America. The S-band antenna has an aperture of 12 meters and was built by Harris Corp.

ICO G1 is the first satellite to utilize an innovative ground-based beam forming (GBBF) system for both satellite-receive and satellite-transmit directions. GBBF will provide unprecedented flexibility in operation for the spacecraft to form S-band antenna beams, flexibility in assigning frequencies and power, and will accommodate any modulation protocol within ICO’s licensed spectrum. GBBF can form up to 250 transmit and 250 receive independent S-band beams.

ICO says the ICO mim product will offer live and stored mobile TV in vehicles, interactive navigation, and roadside assistance, all with nationwide coverage. It will provide multiple channels of high-quality mobile video to portable, larger-screen (4.5- to 10-inch) user devices, the company said.