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MSCI Announces A Global Satellite Communications Constellation Called COMMStellation



19 January 2011


Microsat Systems Canada Inc. (MSCI) (formerly the Space Division of Dynacon Inc.), Canada's designer and builder of the Multi Mission Microsatellite Bus (MMMB) and Commercial Microsatellite Bus (CMB), is pleased to announce the development of COMMStellation, a polar communications constellation comprised of 78 microsatellites that will orbit the Earth at 1,000 km, providing backhaul capacity while connecting remote regions of the Earth to the Internet.


"The influx of millions of data-hungry mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is causing unprecedented strain on mobile networks, which have already reached, or are nearing, capacity," explains David R. Cooper, President and CEO, MSCI. "COMMStellation will provide essential backhaul capacity to mobile operators across the globe. It's an initiative many governments are pushing for because of its ability to connect all of Earth's citizens to the Internet."


Companies such as RIM, Apple, Microsoft, Google, Nokia, Yahoo!, Facebook, and Netflix, whose business models increasingly rely on high-speed Internet communications to stream data, are reliant on mobile operators and Internet service providers to enable fast, reliable, and uninterrupted data transfer. "While demand for backhaul bandwidth grows exponentially, there is downward pressure on consumer wireless pricing," explains Michael Neuman, former CEO of Bell ExpressVu Satellite TV and Founder of Elevest Corporation.  "This situation, together with the need to reach economically challenged population centers, calls for an innovative, low-cost satellite solution."


"High-speed backhaul infrastructure is the single most important enabler to the growth of Internet business models and wealth generation," adds Mr. Cooper. "If a country does not have it - it will fall behind."


"COMMStellation is a completely unique solution born from non-traditional thinking," says Justin Phillips, VP Marketing, MSCI.  "Until now, no one in the industry has been able to find the manufacturing cost and scheduling efficiencies, and cost-effective microsatellite technology to enable an economically viable constellation of satellites to provide 100% global coverage."


O3b (Other Three Billion), a network service provider, is launching an initial constellation of eight medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites into space at an altitude of 8,000 km to address the backhaul market for the "other three billion" - i.e. those with limited or no access to the Internet.


In comparison, MSCI's microsatellite technology enables a constellation of 78 polar low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites at 1,000 km above the Earth - in other words, an orbit eight times closer to the customer.  COMMStellation will provide over five times the data bandwidth density, even at the equator, for the same satellite output, and all for hundreds of millions less cost. In addition, COMMStellation will provide 1/8 the data latency, ten times the total constellation capacity, and potentially provide bandwidth to any of Earth's 6.9 billion (estimate) population, not just the "other three billion."