4 Jan 2002 Alcatel Space has denied press reports that it is abandoning plans to deploy the SkyBridge satellite constellation. Alcatel has been restructuring its operations to reduce costs and cut losses. The company said, "we would invest in putting satellites into orbit when the market is ready." Alcatel says it is still committed to SkyBridge. Alcatel admitted that SkyBridge has delayed, to early 2002, plans to use capacity on existing geostationary satellites to provide broadband IP services by satellite to service providers. SkyBridge had announced plans to introduce such a service in 2001. No reasons were provided for the delay, though Alcatel has said SkyBridge is "on track".
<2 Jan 2002 - Alcatel, the French telecommunications systems vendor, has frozen its plans for the Skybridge satellite Internet project, says a report in Les Echos, the French daily newspaper. The paper quotes an unnamed spokesperson as saying the project, in which Alcatel has a 49.9 percent stake, is now on hold due to poor market demand for the service. The project, which was originally announced in the mid-1990s as a joint venture between Alcatel, Boeing, Loral Space & Communications, Toshiba and others, was initially planned to be operational by 2001.
The project was repeatedly postponed, mainly for technical reasons, and was expected to enter service later this year or early in 2003.
$4.1 billion project from Alcatel Espace, Loral Space and Communications, Mitsubishi, Sharp, Spar Aerospace (Canada), Aerospatial (France) , SRIW (Belgium), Toshiba, and Com Dev (Canada) using 80 LEO satellites (up from 64) orbiting at 1,469 km, in Ku Band. Expected to enter service in 2001, with full operation by 2002.
Has contracts with China, US, Proton & Arianespace to launch satellites.
Data rates from 16kbit/s to 2Mbit/s uplink, and 16kbit/s to 20 Mbit/s downlink.
Will be marketed together with Cyberstar.
ComLinks Satellite Intelligence