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SkyTerra 1 Antenna Deployed

The antenna on SkyTerra 1 was successfully deployed soon after last week's RF Report noted the problems that satellite manufacturer Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems and antenna manufacturer Harris Corp. were having with the huge 22-meter antenna on LightSquared's satellite.

Peter B. de Selding, in his article on reports "The exact procedure used by Boeing, with the aid of Harris, to unblock the deployment remains unclear. But two industry officials said that with a 98 percent deployment, the antenna is all but certain to provide the power and coverage that LightSquared needs to meet its regulatory obligations. One official said that if the antenna's ribbing does not lock into place, there is a risk of less-than-optimal coverage. But this official said the risk was not large, and that it now appeared clear that LightSquared would be able to use the satellite as designed."

SkyTerra 1 will use frequencies in the 1.6 GHz band and as many as 500 or more spot beams to provide data rates in the 300-400 kbps range to handheld phones. LightSquared is also building a terrestrial 4G-LTE network that will work with the same phones at higher data rates.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.