Satellite Update

A review of the FCC’s latest actions affecting the satellite industry.
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The FCC granted a 10-month extension to TerreStar Networks’ application to launch a satellite to provide mobile satellite service (MSS) in the U.S. using the 2 GHz band. The FCC said, “TerreStar has provided sufficient information to the Commission to justify the need for an extension of time to prepare its satellite for launch. Grant of this extension will allow TerreStar to bring into service a state-of-the-art satellite with advanced capabilities to meet homeland security and other service needs.”

Without the extension, TerreStar would have been required to launch the satellite into its assigned orbital location by November 2007. The extension gives it until Sept. 30, 2008.TerreStar did not request an extension of the November 30, 2008 deadline for certifying the system is operational.

The extension was required because of unforeseeable problems completing construction of three satellite components: S-band low-noise amplifiers, oscillators, and the S-band feed array. The FCC Memorandum Opinion and Order granting the extension outlines the specific problems TerreStar and Loral encountered with these components.