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Motorola Plans Satellite Network for Commercial Use

October 14, 1996

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (AP) _ Motorola Inc. plans to build a $6.1 billion network of 72 low-orbit satellites primarily designed to transmit large quantities of data at very high speeds.

``It will be an interconnected network that will allow companies with multiple locations to send data back and forth in a very efficient manner,″ Motorola spokeswoman Stephanie Nowack said Monday.

Motorola filed its plans for the satellite system, called M-Star, with the Federal Communications Commission last month. It needs FCC approval for a slice of radio spectrum it wants for the project.

Unlike another of Motorola’s satellite projects, dubbed Iridium, M-Star is aimed at commercial users, Nowack said. For example, a bank could send massive documents and large quantities of data between its central headquarters and branches, she said.

Nowack said the company is looking for potential investors for M-Star but said it would be hard to estimate when Motorola might be able to launch its first satellites.

Iridium, which Motorola proposed in 1990, is aimed at providing worldwide mobile telephone service for personal use, although data and paging services would also be available.

Motorola is the prime contractor in the Iridium project, which consists of 17 international investors. Satellite launching is to begin in early 1997, and Iridium hopes to begin worldwide service by the end of 1998.

Last week the company said a continuing slowdown in its core semiconductor and cellular businesses contributed to a 58 percent drop in third-quarter earnings.

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