Space Data Corporation has entered into a joint venture that, when approved by the FCC, will consolidate its leadership position in the Narrowband PCS (NPCS) part of the licensed 900 MHz band. Space Data will be the licensee of nearly 2 MHz of the 3 MHz allocated to NPCS by the FCC.
As part of a series of spectrum swaps leading to this consolidation, Space Data is forming a Joint Venture with Scott MacIntyre, a wireless entrepreneur, which will encompass 200 KHz of spectrum that is non-core to its planned SkySite® operations and will be available for lease or sale. This spectrum is ideal for such applications as private SMR (Specialized Mobile Radio) networks for industrial customers requiring priority communications during crises. It also has potential low-cost applications for new services such as nationwide distribution of iPOD or gaming content, meter reading and other narrowband applications needing a nationwide footprint without spending billions on spectrum.
Space Data considers “Narrowband” a misnomer as flexible use rules and the technology it has developed allows its balloon based SkySite telecommunications platform to provide innovative advanced messaging to rural and underserved areas in the US. Since 2004, Space Data has flown more than 15,000 flights over the Southwestern US to provide machine-to-machine services to oil industry customers for well monitoring, vehicle tracking and pipeline monitoring. This quarter, Space Data is beginning a telemedicine program to monitor diabetes readings via wireless PDAs for members of the Navajo Nation on remote areas of their tribal lands in Arizona.
Virtually all of Space Data’s licenses are nationwide and half of them are now paired for compatibility with standard SMR devices, which means they can deliver iDEN or analog voice including PTT (Push To Talk) service and packet data services.
Space Data also has 20 MHz of additional spectrum in the Gulf of Mexico and Northern Alaska in the AWS spectrum band from Auction 66. These are low population, oil-rich areas where it plans to offer broadband service, which is now largely non-existent. Space Data did not enter the current Auction 73, but has filed comments with the FCC as its ubiquitous SkySites can dramatically reduce the number and timing of otherwise needed towers to meet the more stringent government build-out requirements for the 700 MHz band, such as 70 percent of geography versus the historical 75 percent of population requirement.
Space Data is a private company founded in 2000. It received a $49 million contract from the US Air Force in 2006 to improve communications in battle environments and is one of the only companies to qualify for Tribal Lands Bidding Credits offered by the FCC. For additional information, please visit www.spacedata.net.
Scott MacIntyre as an individual and through Data Radio Management Inc of Merrimack NH is a FCC licensee in numerous private radio bands primarily as a result of his successful participation in FCC auctions.