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November 23, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 5:04pm

GATES’ TELEDESIC WILL HAVE TO SHARE RADIO FREQUENCIES

By CBR Staff Writer

Just days after satellite venture Teledesic was awarded the entire chunk of radio spectrum central for the company’s planned $9bn satellite-based high speed internet access service (CI No 3,294), it has been disclosed that two other systems will also get access to the frequencies. Negotiations between the US and Europe at the World Radiocommunications Conference in Geneva resulted in a compromise that means the Teledesic project founded by Microsoft Corp chairman Bill Gates and cellular pioneer Craig McCraw, will have to share its internet-in-the-sky with competition that is likely to come from the Alcatel-Alsthom’s Skybridge consortium and the Motorola Inc Celestri system. Kirkland, Washington-based Teledesic plans to ring the world with 288 satellites and provide broadband two way internet access to anyone, anywhere on the planet. But now consumers across the globe will be given a choice of satellite provider. French delegates attending the conference led a European bid to prevent the Microsoft concern attaining a perceived monopoly over the scarce radio bands. The US agreed that extra room be made in the radio bands already in space, previously only used in geostationary or fixed-orbit satellites. All three companies appear satisfied with the compromise.

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