Solaris Expands Hybrid Mobile/Satellite Network

Solaris Mobile is expanding its Paris-based network to cover Rennes and Nancy (France) and the surrounding areas. The company says its network, launched in November 2009 to demonstrate the broadcast of TV and radio services to mobile phones, other handheld devices and cars within Paris has been very successful to date.

Solaris Mobile and its partners in the collaboration, Alcatel-Lucent and towerCast, have built a hybrid network based on satellite and terrestrial mobile technology. Based on its success within France, Solaris Mobile says it is looking towards a pan-European roll out programme in the near future.
The collaboration sees Solaris Mobile providing satellite capacity and spectrum rights, while Alcatel-Lucent manages the system integration and is providing transmission equipment, and towerCast is providing its antenna sites, in and around, Paris.

The resulting ‘hybrid network’, under the overall management of Solaris Mobile, combines the instant coverage of satellite with the deep network capabilities of cellular mobile systems, making it the first such network to be deployed within Europe.

Such networks, operating across the whole of the EU, in frequency bands adjacent to the existing 3G mobile bands around 2GHz, will open up new opportunities to deliver next generation broadband and broadcast services to people on the move. Video, data downloads and ubiquitous voice services delivered to people’s phones, or cars, will soon match the range currently available only with fixed-line services in their offices or homes, the company says.

The hybrid network was enabled after the European Commission and the 27 EC member States authorised Solaris Mobile to operate services in 2 x 15 MHz blocks of S-Band spectrum across Europe in May 2009.