Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


(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.)
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
Notice also that Teledesic is promising broadband speeds that dwarf other technologies, with the exception of fiber.
System Orbit Satellites Frequency of Name (height) (channels) operation Globalstar LEO 48 1.6, 2.4GHz users 1400Km (130,000) 5GHz up ICO MEO 10 7GHz down 10,355Km 5GHz up Teledesic LEO (45,000) 7GHz down 1400Km 288 28GHz (unspecified) System Name Applications Coverage Globalstar Voice/Data Worldwide (except poles) ICO Voice/Data Worldwide Teledesic Video/Voice Worldwide Data System Start Name Charges Date Globalstar $1000 (terminal) 1999 $.50 airtime ICO $1000 (terminal) 2000 $1 airtime Teledesic Unspecified 2003 Iridium.
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.
Low Earth Orbit Satellites: The satellite industry is planning to provide advanced telecommunications services through low earth orbit ("LEO") satellites.(99) Companies such as Teledesic and Iridium are currently developing fleets of several hundred satellites that will hover in geostationary orbits at relatively low altitudes to provide world-wide telephone and Internet service,(100) The LEO initiatives suffer from fundamental drawbacks because the portable receivers will be large and expensive,(101) and because the satellites themselves are an unknown technology.(102)
Teledesic, Lockheed Martin, and Boeing want to launch services.
Teledesic's system is scheduled to go online in 2001, with full service in 2003.
Access to the Internet via satellite can even turn a supplier of software into a complete multimedia operator (e.g., Microsoft-Motorola's Teledesic).
Teledesic, a company formed in 1990 by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and cellular-phone magnate Craig McCaw, plans to launch as many as 800 low-orbit satellites to bring cellular communications and Internet access to every point on the globe.
Broadband wireless companies such as WinStar and Teligent, and broadband satellite operators such as Spaceway and Teledesic, will compete alongside existing fiber-based MAN operators to provide a wide range of high-quality services.
Teledesic LLC (based in Kirkland, Washington) is the prime example of a mega LEO system.
Other networks, such as Skybridge, Teledesic and Celestri promise multimedia voice and data communications, and even the prospect of an 'Internet-in-the-sky.' But these are still some way off; and Africa has in any case yet to catch up with the personal computer revolution.