Monday, April 14, 2008, marked the launch of the largest commercial satellite. ICO will be using this satellite to serve the growing mobile video market. ICO will use frequencies in the 2 GHz range to provide video and emergency services to mobile handsets and car-based terminals. They are building a hybrid satellite-terrestrial network. The idea is that satellite will serve the wide-open spaces, while a terrestrial network will complement satellite in non-line-of-site areas. They will be collaborating to build out the terrestrial network.
The interesting thing is how little press coverage ICO is getting for their efforts. In some sense, what they are trying to do is to be the Sirius and XM equivalent for mobile video. Most of the small sample people that I talked to at IP Possibilities had never heard of ICO, which is surprising given the potential disruptive nature of what they are trying to do.
What they are trying to do is a big project; however, as just getting a critical mass of device makers [Automobile communications powerhouse, Delphi is supporting] to support their approach will be a big challenge. It will be interesting to see how ICO‘s approach competes against the pure terrestrial mobile video networks.