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(Teledesic Corporation) A Washington State-based company spun off from McCaw Cellular in 1994 to create a high-speed, wireless, switched global network. Its vision was an IP-based wireless system with the same quality level as fiber-based terrestrial systems.

An Internet in the Sky
Teledesic planned for its 288 low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to transmit in the Ka-band and blanket the earth with the equivalent of 20,000 T1 lines. Data would be switched from one satellite to another, simulating an Internet in the sky. Using dishes less than a meter wide, the target markets were maritime as well as communities without high-bandwidth communications.

An Ambitious Project That Never Came Through
With investors such as Craig McCaw, Bill Gates and AT&T Wireless, and after spending hundreds of millions of dollars, Teledesic suspended operations in 2002. The company cited problems in the industry and financial markets, and a year later relinquished its 1 GHz of spectrum to the FCC. See OneWeb.

Teledesic's "Internet in the Sky"
The 288 LEO satellites (top) were planned to blanket the earth. (Images courtesy of Teledesic Corporation.)

Teledesic's "Internet in the Sky"
The 288 LEO satellites (top) were planned to blanket the earth. (Images courtesy of Teledesic Corporation.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Despite this, Teledesic remains optimistic about its 840 satellite network still five years from operation.
Starting in 2003, Teledesic will provide high-speed Internet access for businesses, schools, and individuals throughout the world.
According to Roger Nyhus, a spokesman for Teledesic, the system's broadband channel access will be "comparable to that provided by fiber-optic connections.
Despite the publicity it has received, Teledesic, the 288-satellite BSS operator backed by the entrepreneur Craig McCaw (formerly of McCaw Cellular, the leading US cellular network sold to AT&T), Bill Gates, and Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia is just one of nine proposed BSS systems (Exhibit 3).
Bill Gates himself has invested heavily in Teledesic, a $10 billion satellite venture.
Hero's an exception, printed in boldfaced capitals on the first of a 94-page packet: Subject: Teledesic Inc.
He does not expect any significant steps forward on Teledesic for years to come.
And Teledesic, a brainchild of MicroSoft and McCaw Cellular Communications, can put up $9 billion to build a network using 840 low-orbiting satellites.
Teledesic LLC, a satellite communications services has finalized an agreement with the Italian satellite manufacturer Alenia Spazio SpA, to build satellites for Teledesic's global, broadband Intemet-in-the-Sky[R] satellite communications network.
6 61 TELEDESIC Transmit 20 840 400 Receive 30 400 System Per Constellation IRIDIUM [greater than] 19,800 GLOBALSTAR Transmit 4368 Receive 2928 TELEDESIC Transmit 20,000,000 Receive 20,000,000 DENSITY-TAPERED ARRAY CONCENTRIC RING PARAMETERS Ring Radius Element Number ([lambda]) Number 1 2.