Combined satellite-cellular communications will be easier for consumers, enterprise, government and public safety due to an agreement announced today by and among Mobile Satellite Ventures LP , a subsidiary of SkyTerra Communications, Inc. ICO Global Communications, and Qualcomm Incorporated
This agreement will enable devices to have ubiquitous mobile communications coverage from anywhere in North America, including areas where traditional cellular service is currently unavailable or unreliable.
Qualcomm will integrate satellite and cellular communication technology in select multi-mode mobile baseband chips, enabling satellite connectivity in mass-market wireless handsets and devices and handset vendors to produce satellite-capable devices at comparable scale and cost.
Combined with our powerful next-generation satellites, Qualcomm's technology will enable mobile communications between terrestrial and satellite network layers using ordinary mobile devices.
Under the agreement, Qualcomm will develop a satellite protocol and include it in the firmware of select upcoming Qualcomm multi-mode baseband chips.
Qualcomm will also support the L- and S-Band frequencies, in which MSV and ICO operate, in select RF processors.
The new chips are expected to be available beginning in 2010. Qualcomm will sell and support its hybrid mobile satellite services (MSS)/terrestrial chipsets to mobile device vendors in the same manner it does today. This will enable terminal OEMs to provide a full range of handhelds and mobile computing devices capable of terrestrial connectivity with 3GPP and 3GPP2 technologies across the L- and S-Bands, as well as a wide range of existing mobile terrestrial bands.