Teledesic, the satellite communications start-up part-owned by Bill Gates, has received a governmental green light to build what it calls a global "Internet in the sky".
The US Federal Communications Commission has awarded Teledesic a licence to provide two-way telecommunications services through a network of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites, which the company will use as the basis for offerings such as broadband Internet access, videoconferencing and interactive multimedia, Teledesic says.
With the licence, the Kirkland, Washington-based company can build and launch its Teledesic Network and make use of 500 MHz of domestic radio frequency in the 28-GHz band for uplink, and a corresponding 500 MHz of the spectrum for downlink.
The network of several hundred satellites is scheduled to go into service in 2002. It will provide switched, broadband connections through service providers in host countries. Because of the planned system's low Earth orbit, it will eliminate the long delay associated with satellite communications, the company says.
Teledesic, a private company, was formed in 1990. Its main investors are its CEO, Craig McCaw, founder of McCaw Cellular Communications Inc., and Microsoft chairman and CEO Bill Gates.
The company can be reached at http://www.teledesic.com/.