New satellite-cellular network to compete with the existing cellular phone service
Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) and Boeing threatened to compete with the existing cellular phone service by announcing that they have signed a contract for MSV to acquire three Boeing satellites and associated ground systems, which together with the MSV's patented Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) technology will enable the developing of the world's first commercial mobile satellite service. The new service, based both on space and terrestrial elements, will be able to provide mobile voice and data even to users in the most remote regions. Moreover, in times of natural disasters first responders' communication lines will be open. Customers will have access to the satellite-cellular network via wireless devices that are more or less identical to cell phone handsets in respect of aesthetics, cost, and functionality. The three satellites, which will cover North and South America, are planned to be launched in 2009 and 2010.