If Arrowhead Space and
Telecommunications has its way, broadband and satellite technology will
be the key that unlocks the expansion of Internet services to every corner
of the globe.
“While there are approximately 51 phone lines per 100 habitants in the
world’s developed countries, that ratio is less than 2 per 100 in Africa, 5
per 100 in Asia, and 30 per 100 in South America. Clearly there are billions
of people without basic phone service,” explains Arrowhead’s president and
chief executive officer, Mary Ann
Elliott. “For them, the Internet is
Talking with internet.com in preparation for the Wireless Forum, to be held
in Milan next month, Elliott pointed out that broadband communications and
international alliances may be the answer to
reaching the global market.
Numerous satellite communications companies are
proposing to use the radio-frequency spectrum to meet the demand for
broadband communications to support Internet access, phone service,
videoconferencing, and other services.
Satellites are seen as particularly
advantageous in building communications infrastructure, because they offer
ubiquitous communications without the need to install wire or cable to
connect each and every home, school, or business.
“Ka-band has been used for broadband applications in a number of countries.
In Italy, Italsat uses Ka-band for voice, data, and video communications. In
Japan the CS-2 satellite and NStar A and B carried Ka-band services,” said Elliott.
Spazio has proposed the EuroSkyWay constellation of geostationary satellites
to provide commercial multimedia applications. Other European multimedia
projects include Sativod and WEST.”
The technical challenges for a global, satellite-supported Internet alone are significant. New and alternative loud capacity will have to be developed, a ground infrastructure must be established, including regional
gateways and user terminals.
Spectrum issues concern signal loss due to high
rain attenuation and to rain blocking, to which Ku-, Ka- and Q/V-band
frequencies are subject. The planning use of the same frequencies by both
geo stationary and LEO systems also create sharing issues to be resolved.
It are these, and other issues, that Arrowhead seeks to face, in cooperation
with European and global partners, in their effort to broaden the use of
Internet through satellite technology.
One of the fastest growing space and telecommunications companies in the
United States, Arrowhead has rapidly moved forward in the areas of media
technology, information assurance and commercial satellite communications;
primarily on government and military contracts.
Now, with both U.S. and
European deregulation of satellite usage, the company is looking towards
“Another challenge is the need to obtain regulatory approval for each
system, in each country of operation,” explained Elliott, who was named one
of Defense Daily’s Top 40 Most Influential People in Defense, Aerospace, and
National Security. “Marketing concerns include the need to develop quality
product at an attractive price when compared to traditional