Dulles, Virginia-based space and military electronics company Orbital Sciences Corp is planning to launch a $900m global satellite network, due to enter service in 2,002, for high speed business data transmission throughout the world. The network of nine equatorial medium earth orbit satellites will use radio frequency bands of 65-71GHz, 37.5-38.5GHz, and 47.7-48.7Ghz, which have just been opened up for license applications by the US Federal Communications Commission. The $461m a year turnover Orbital was unavailable for comment on how it planned to find funding for the network. The service is dependant on the FCC approving the license, and at the moment the only other competition is TRW Inc’s proposed network along similar lines (CI No 3,241). The satellite network would be able to transmit 225Gbps of information in total, the equivalent of 100 high speed optic fibers. The applications supported would be video, video- conferencing, high speed internet access, and other broadband data applications. Orbital will sell capacity on the network only to business users, unlike other satellite ventures such as Teledesic Corp and Motorola Inc’s Iridium LLC, which plan to offer satellite communications to consumers.
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