November 28, 1996 in Social Responsibility News


. Samsung signs portable terminal contract
. Plans call for GMPCS operation and terminal sales to begin in 2000.
. Samsung to gain advantage in hand-held phones and satellite broadcasting.

SEOUL, Korea - Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEC) has made a move to become fully involved in the Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) business, a system that allows linking people anytime, anywhere on the planet via intermediate circuit orbit (ICO) satellites. Earlier this month (November 19), Samsung Electronics signed a contract to supply GMPCS handsets to ICO Global Communications Ltd. of the UK.

Samsung first got into GMPCS business in January 1995 when the company formed ICO Korea consortium together with Korea Telecom and Shinsegi Telecom Inc. The new agreement is a chance for Samsung to further solidify its position as a leader in next-generation mobile communications.

By utilizing its state-of-the-art CDMA (code division multiple access) technology know-how, Samsung Electronics will be developing hand-held GMPCS terminals. The new terminals will be dual mode, capable of working with both satellite and GSM/CDMA cellular networks. The company plans to complete development of first GMPCS terminals in 1998 and production will take place in Korea and Samsung Wynyard Park, an electronics complex located in the UK. Terminal sales are expected to start in the year 2000 when full commercial service is projected to start.

Unlike the communications satellites currently in operation, GMPCS systems, most of them are scheduled to come into operation within the next five years, will make use of a group of non-geostationary satellites moving around the Earth in low or medium orbit, transferring signals to earth stations or between each other. They could offer users a way to make phone calls, send fax and even transfer multimedia data from and to anywhere in the world, including remote areas or parts of tthe world with poor fixed line telecommunications infrastructure.

GMPCS is expected to be widely used. Potential customers and applications include cellular phone users, businessmen, information-related institutes, transport companies, small ships, coastal navigation users, short distance plane flights, emergency rescue, general travelers, and geographical regions without basic telecommunications facilities and cellular systems facilities.

GMPCS is a satellite-based mobile communications system designed primarily to provide services to hand held phones. The system will offer digital voice, data, facsimile, and a suite of messaging services anywhere in the intended environments world-wide.

The basic terminal will be a hand-held device, similar in size, weight and design to current cellular units. These hand-held units will be dual mode, capable of working with both satellite and cellular/PCS networks. Other terminal types are expected to include dedicated data, car, commercial vehicle, maritime, aeronautical as well as semi-fixed and supervisory control and data acquisition units.

The ICO`s GMPCS system will comprise ten operational satellites and two in-orbit spares operating in intermediate circular orbit at an altitude of 10,355 km. Divided equally between two orthogonal planes, each 45 degrees to the equator, these will provide complete, continuous overlapping coverage of the earth's surface. The first launch is scheduled for 1998.

Satellites will communicate with ground networks through ICO's own network -the ICON ET. This will consist of twelve earth stations or satellite access nodes (SANs) located around the globe. The SANs will provide the primary interface with the ICO satellites for routing traffic and maintaining certain customer data. The SANs will also link with gateways that will serve as the primary interface with public switched
telephone, mobile rand data networks.

ICO Global Communications (ICO) was established in January 1995 as a private company to provide satellite-enabled personal mobile global communications services. The company will commence full commercial service in the year 2000.

The company is registered in multiple locations as a legal entity including England. It employs 150 people world-wide from 24 different nationalities. ICO`s capitalization to date is US$ 1.5 billion, raised from share subscription from international public and private organizations. It currently has 47 investors, comprising telecommunications and technology companies from 44 countries world-wide as well as INMARSAT,
COMSAT and Hughes.

Samsung Electronics Company, Ltd. (SEC), a $21 billion flagship company of the $87 billion Samsung Group, is a world leader in the electronics sector, with operations in more than 60 countries. The company develops, manufactures and markets telecommunications & information systems, audio and video products, household electronics goods, computers & peripheral products, display products, software tools & semiconductors.

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