Mobile satellite service operator Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) said it is working with Boeing to launch three satellites for a national wireless network, a move that could either make or break many business plans in the struggling MSS industry. Many of the players in the MSS industry are banking their survival on incorporating an ancillary terrestrial component (ATC) that would solve a fundamental problem plaguing the MSS industry--operators' inability to penetrate buildings with satellite signals. That technical shortfall that has had a tremendous constraint on demand and resulted in higher operating and equipment costs.
MSV is now looking for an investment partner, and reports have surfaced that DirecTV and Echostar may infuse money into the company. MSS operators have said their ability to incorporate ATCs into their satellite systems would attract the necessary investment to launch the next-generation of services, which will include high-speed data capabilities. To even say the MSS industry is a beleaguered one is an understatement with the slew of bankruptcies that began in the late 1990s with Iridium. MSV says it wants to create a service that is mass-market, but the company is going to have to come up with services that can attract users away from existing mobile-phone providers. History has shown that the market for anywhere communications, which satellite provides, has a limited audience. Niche markets like homeland defense and public-safety interoperability seem like the best fit, but service won't be available until 2009.
For more about MSV's satellite plans:
- read this article in Investor's Business Daily