Re: An Earthly Idea for Doubling the Airwaves

From: Dhiren Patel (
Date: Mon Apr 09 2001 - 10:57:45 PDT

At 08:54 AM 4/9/2001 -0400, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
"If Mr. Tawil's reasoning proves correct, small transmitters on towers
could offer a
competing and far cheaper service by beaming signals on the same
frequencies from
the north of their intended subscribers. Signals travel in a straight
line, so those from
towers have a limited range on the curved surface of the Earth. But that
smaller range
would make it easier to offer the local programming that has eluded
satellite services,
which by their nature broadcast to huge areas. And because such a system
would not
require launching satellites or laying cable, it could be offered at a
fraction of what is
being charged by direct broadcast satellite and cable television
services, in rural as
well as urban areas."

Oh come on...  While a reasonable comparison to cable, the single
expensive satellite transmitters are going to still be cheaper than any
comparibly broad tower/transmitter deployment.  There are a LOT of
30-mile-radius areas that will each need their own system.  Not to
mention the existing capitalization of competing systems like Cable.
Growth by attrition would be tough unless you are providing broadband
Internet access at the same time.

Doesn't this sound similar in principle, if not in spectrum, to the
'Cellular Cable TV' investments I was badgered with a few years ago?
Whatever happened to that?

I didn't get the impression that this was intended to compete against cable.  Once you have the connectivity, you can run whatever you want over it, including Internet data, cellular data, etc.  Plus, because you can add capacity in a fine-grained manner, you can really target hot-spots, thus avoiding the need to launch satellites, etc.  Adding towers will certainly be cheaper than that, and you can deploy a _lot_ of towers for the cost of a single satellite, and towers have the advantage of being physically accessible for maintenance and upgrades.

Additionally, my impression was that there was no shortage of spectrum
for geosync satellite reception due to the exceptionally narrow focus
needed to get even a reasonable signal.  I've setup small Ku band
dishes, larger than what are used now, and if you are more than a couple
degrees off center or 90 deg. out of rotational phase, you get nothing.
That should allow the use of about 30-50 satellites at each freq. range.

Interesting.  Doesn't this argue for this technology since it can target all of those people who can't get line of site to the satellites?  This is a pretty clever idea; I'm surprised that no one thought of it before.


> Dhiren Patel wrote:
>                                                     Name: An Earthly Idea for
>                                                           Doubling the Airwaves.url
>    An Earthly Idea for Doubling the Airwaves.url    Type: unspecified type
>                                                           (application/octet-stream)
>                                                 Encoding: quoted-printable

Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax

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