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RF Shorts for March 14, 2014

What if your tower looked like one ofthese !

When the town of Canakkale, Turkey needed a new 300-meter tower they didn't just order an off-the-shelf lattice tower. Instead, the community held the Canakkale Antenna Tower International competition and solicited designs from architects and engineers. The results were judged by a jury consisting of architects and engineers from EAA, Henning Larsen Architects, UNStudio, and Istanbul Technical University.

The designs, which seem to me more like an amusement park ride than a tower, can be seen at Winning results of the Çanakkale Antenna Tower competition in Turkey on The winning firm was Powerhouse Company and IND with a design that doesn't look anything like a conventional tower.

The other finalist's designs are just as amazing. Imagine having your broadcast antenna on one of these! The Çanakkale Antenna Tower International Competition project description notes: "The competitors are strongly recommended to consider the technological requirements of the broadcasting tower and recreational potentials of a public entity with equal emphasis." The description adds: "The scope of the competition is not only limited to the design of an iconic antenna tower but also includes development of innovative concepts for creating outdoor and indoor spaces enabling public programs of leisure, recreation and exhibition that will attract local people as well as tourists.

The design and the position of the project should create a destination in the region that will be renown throughout Turkey."

If I were in the area, I would certainly make an effort to visit this 100-meter tower once it's built.

LightSquared Teams With ViaSat on New Mobile Sat Services

Lightsquared announced it has it has entered a strategic relationship with ViaSat. LightSquared said it has signed a multiyear agreement with ViaSat to introduce a new mobile satellite service that combines the power of LightSquared's SkyTerra 1 L-band satellite with ViaSat's secure, all-IP, true packet-switched satellite technology.

The new mobile service, called ViaSat L-band Managed Service, does not use ViaSat's satellite fleet, just its satellite communication technology. LightSquared's SkyTerra 1 satellite with its 22-meter reflector/antenna system is able to provide service to small hand-held or mobile devices using L-band spectrum.

The announcement noted: "The flexible, open ViaSat L-band Managed Service enables development of applications serving the communications needs of consumer, enterprise, and government segments. A unique device ecosystem will initially include M2M, vehicular, and aviation devices designed to support a range of applications from communications for emergency first responders, to monitoring oil and gas flow through pipelines, to mobile workforce management, and tracking and monitoring of high-valued assets whether static or mobile."

"The LightSquared SkyTerra 1 L-band satellite has brought the same kind of bold innovation to personal mobile communications that we’ve brought to satellite broadband with our high-capacity ViaSat-1 Ka-band satellite," said Phil Berry, vice president and general manager of mobile satellite services at ViaSat. "Together with LightSquared, we are bringing to market products and services that address the unmet needs of a variety of mobile communicators."

"This agreement gives new and current LightSquared partners access to a lineup of products and services with smaller form factors and will offer download speeds up to 10 times what they are able to achieve today," said Doug Smith, chairman and CEO of LightSquared.

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at .

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.