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October 6, 1999

Thomson Buys into Skybridge as Hardware Partner

By CBR Staff Writer

Skybridge LP, the broadband satellite network joint venture of Alcatel SA and Loral SA, yesterday announced that Thomson Multimedia Group is to buy into the company, and will supply it with terminal devices when the services goes live some time in 2001. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Thomson will build business and residential access devices under the terms of the deal, which are likely to cost the average consumer roughly $700.

Skybridge will be a network of 80 low earth orbit satellites, which will provide internet access on the Ku frequency band via service partners such as Australian carrier Telstra. Other equity investors include electronics giants Sharp, Mitsubishi and Toshiba.

Separately, internet via satellite venture Teledesic LLC yesterday announced it had beefed up its European presence with the appointment of former NATO official and German army officer Klaus Naumann as MD for Europe. The firm also hired Paul Thompson from UK-based ERA Technology Ltd to head up the European technical regulatory affairs department based in London.

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