Hughes Announces Agreement with SkyTerra and TerreStar to Implement GMR1-3G Satellite Air Interface on Chipset for Wireless Handsets


GERMANTOWN, Md., April 2 -- Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the world's leading provider of broadband satellite networks and services today announced an agreement to develop and implement software that will power the satellite capability in SkyTerra's and TerreStar Network's next-generation integrated device chipsets. This software will enable the GMR1-3G satellite air interface standard to run side-by-side with cellular standards in a commercially available, software-defined radio (SDR) chipset being developed for SkyTerra and TerreStar Networks by Infineon Technologies AG.

With the software being developed by Hughes, a single SDR chip solution can be readily programmed to operate on a variety of cellular standards such as GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, HSDPA, and HSUPA, while also providing satellite connectivity via the global GMR1-3G standard. This can revolutionize the cost, power, and size of satellite-enabled wireless handheld devices. SkyTerra and TerreStar both are developing landmark integrated satellite-terrestrial communications networks and services.

"We are excited to work with Hughes on the development of software to enable a single, integrated satellite-terrestrial chipset for burgeoning mass market cellular devices," said Drew Caplan, chief network officer for SkyTerra. "It opens the door to enable advanced generations of combined satellite and cellular devices that can operate on virtually all digital cellular standards globally, at low incremental cost."

Dennis Matheson, chief technology officer at TerreStar Networks, added, "The combination of GMR1-3G and terrestrial wireless on a single SDR platform, coupled with our existing development work, will enable a family of handsets that can operate throughout North America on our planned network. The added flexibility of the SDR technology will permit these devices to operate on today's standards, while ensuring an easy upgrade path for use on 4G networks."

"Hughes is proud to be associated with SkyTerra and TerreStar, both innovative mobile service providers, in developing the software for this integrated cellular phone chipset," said Graham Avis, vice president and general manager of mobile satellite terminals for Hughes. "We share in their vision to deliver universal wireless services to consumers and public safety markets utilizing the best of satellite and cellular technologies."

Hughes will be utilizing Infineon Technologies AG's X-GOLD(TM) series of SDR devices for the GMR1-3G technology platform.

About Hughes

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the global leader in providing broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses, and consumers. HughesNet(R) encompasses all broadband solutions and managed services from Hughes, bridging the best of satellite and terrestrial technologies. Its broadband satellite products are based on global standards approved by the TIA, ETSI and ITU standards organizations, including IPoS/DVB-S2, RSM-A and GMR-1. To date, Hughes has shipped more than 1.9 million systems to customers in over 100 countries.

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