Satellite operators join forces to chase direct-to-smartphone opportunity

TAMPA, Fla. — A group of satellite operators have joined forces to push the fledgling direct-to-smartphone market to adopt services using their radiowaves, rather than spectrum derived from terrestrial mobile network operators.
Viasat, Terrestar Solutions, Ligado Networks, Omnispace, and Yahsat announced the creation of the Mobile Satellite Services Association (MSSA) Feb. 9, a non-profit aiming to harmonize Mobile Satellite Services for integrating with standardized devices.
Together, they hold more than 100 megahertz of L- and S-band spectrum that they say could help extend terrestrial cellular networks worldwide.
San Francisco-based Skylo says it has developed ground infrastructure technology that would enable satellite-based messaging from smartphones slated to roll out by the end of the year, using geostationary satellites operated by Viasat, Ligado, and Terrestar.
“We have multiple partners including carriers and [original equipment manufacturers] cond

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