LightSquared, the hybrid satellite/4G LTE network currently in development across the United States has shipped its mobile communications satellite off for its November 14 launch in Kazakhstan.
The satellite was constructed by Boeing and is named SkyTerra 1, after the satellite company that designed the network which Harbinger Capital acquired in its formation of LightSquared. It pairs with four gateway base stations on Earth and its related network of beamforming equipment.
“LightSquared’s SkyTerra 1 next-generation satellite, with its 22-meter diameter [L-band] reflector, will allow for connectivity to mobile devices with a similar form factor, battery life and performance to conventional cellular phone devices,” Jeff Snyder, senior vice president of satellite engineering and operations for LightSquared said in a statement this morning.
While this satellite is only the first half of the SkyTerra satellite network, it is significant because it will be the single largest antenna reflector ever put in orbit for a commercial communications network.
DirecTV uses the same model of Boeing satellite (720HP) to expand its coverage area in the United States, but the signal (Ka-band) reflectors on those are only 2.5 meters in size.