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“Nearly every major mobile operator is, or will shortly be, at capacity…” - Chris Kissel, Industry Analyst for In-Stat. (http://www.in-stat.com/press.asp?ID=2899&sku=IN1004716GW)
“By the end of this year, 2010, we will see the number of mobile cellular subscriptions worldwide surpass the five billion mark.”i
Almost 75% of the world’s population is using PCS, Smartphones and Tablets. Adoption of these technologies is no longer a question, but rather a global reality. Mobile broadband is here to stay and the challenge, as consumers rely more and more on their devices for everything, is the management and expansion of the global infrastructure required to handle the advances in technology and the resulting data usage explosion.
Wireless carriers are desperately looking for ways to upgrade their systems to handle wireless traffic which is increasing their costs and having a direct impact on their bottom line. Yet manufacturers like Samsung, Apple, and Blackberry continue to develop devices that include data-demanding features like video conferencing and media messaging which absorb bandwidth at frightening rates.
“The problem, which is forcing carriers to upgrade their leased lines, cell-tower gear, routers and gateways in branch stations, is the increasing volume of mobile traffic, both in number of connections and bandwidth demand per connection, another In-Stat report found. The market for mobile video calling may grow as large as $1 billion by 2015 -- and a data volume of more than 9 petabytes in North America alone, especially following the launch of iPhone 4 with Facetime video capability, not to mention Fring, OoVoo, Qik and Skype, the report said.”ii
In addition to the mobile backhaul crisis, governments and other communications regulators in North America want to provide the same access to rural areas that are enjoyed in urban areas. The bill to extend fiber networks everywhere however is staggering. Other parts of the world that don’t enjoy the benefits of extensive fiber infrastructures due to terrestrial landscapes and excessive costs like Africa and many parts of Asia have huge unserviced markets.
Satellite infrastructure for telecommunications has, until now, always required huge capital investments which were passed on to resellers and end users. Traditional GEO satellites are very expensive, take a long time to develop, and in the end can only address a fraction of the market from fixed points in earth’s GEO Ring.
Others are working on a MEO constellation in an equatorial orbit. This constellation will provide better coverage than GEO satellites with shorter time latency, but the data bandwidth necessary to meet even conservative estimates of market need will require many more satellites than are presently in development and an enormous investment. Lastly, no matter how many satellites are deployed in an equatorial orbit, coverage away from the equator quickly falls off and is practically irrelevant as a viable service alternative north or south of 45 degrees of latitude.
MSCI has developed a breakthrough approach to the creation of a telecommunications constellation (dubbed: COMMStellation™). COMMStellation™ is a cost-effective, high-speed, large-capacity, top quality microsatellite constellational providing 100% global coverage on land. In fact COMMStellation™ will provide more than 5X the data bandwidth density compared to the MEO satellite constellation at the equator. As a user moves north or south, and the equatorial constellation becomes weaker and weaker, COMMStellation™ data bandwidth density becomes stronger and stronger. At 45 degrees of latitude, a line roughly dividing northern United States and Canada, passing through the heart of central Europe, and dividing Russia from Asia, COMMStellation™ bandwidth density has doubled. Coverage in Canada, Northern Europe, Russia, Northern China and the poles is awesome.
Our new way of thinking will result in COMMStellation™ being a viable cost-effective solution to the enormous global backhaul demand, even in competition with GEO and MEO satellites at the equator. North of 45 degrees, we are the only practical satellite solution.
i Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré (http://www.itu.int/en/osg/speeches/pages/2010-03-08-2.aspx)
ii Kevin Fogerty of IT World (http://www.itworld.com/mobile-amp-wireless/126110/your-email-addiction-forcing-mobile-carriers-do-a-lot-digging)