Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV) and Boeing announced today a major commercial contract award for three satellites and associated ground systems. Financial details of the award were not disclosed however this is the largest commercial satellite order booked by Boeing since 1997, when it received an order for two large satellites for regional mobile communications from an international customer.

Under this contract, three Boeing built geo-mobile satellites will enable the world’s first commercial mobile satellite service using both space and terrestrial elements. The network, based on MSV’s patented Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) technology, combines the best of satellite and cellular technology. It will deliver reliable, advanced and widespread voice and data coverage throughout North and South America.

“Boeing’s 40-year heritage in the satellite industry and vast experience in the mobile satellite arena will prove invaluable in the construction of our next generation satellites,” said Alexander Good, vice chairman and CEO of MSV.

The satellites will use MSV’s ATC technology to deliver service to wireless devices that are virtually identical to cell phone handsets in terms of aesthetics, cost, and functionality. Boeing will also develop ground-based systems that will provide advanced beam forming flexibility and interference cancellation unprecedented in commercial satellite systems. These technological advances will allow MSV optimal deployment of its ATC technology and spectrum utilization.

“In addition to providing mobile service to users in the most remote regions, the technology deployed by MSV will keep lines of communication open for first responders in times of natural disasters,” said Howard Chambers, vice president of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems.

MSV-1 and MSV-2 satellites will cover Canada; the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico; the Virgin Islands; Mexico and the Caribbean Basin. The third satellite, MSV-SA will introduce MSV’s advanced communications services into South America. The satellites are scheduled to launch in 2009 and 2010.

Boeing builds upon proven technology from predecessor satellites and a quarter-century heritage of integrating and deploying L-band systems. The satellites will be among the largest and most powerful ever built. Each spacecraft will supply 11,000 watts of power through 5-panel solar array wings using highly efficient triple-junction Gallium arsenide cells. The 22-meter L-band reflector for mobile terminal links will complement a 1.5 meter Ku-band antenna.

MSV is privately held and its primary investors include Motient Corporation, TMI Communications, Columbia Capital, and Spectrum Equity Investors.

MSV offers customers a wide choice of wireless data, voice, fax and dispatch radio services via the two MSAT satellites. It provides superior capacity and reliability across North America, northern South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Hawaii and their coastal waters.

A conference call by Boeing and MSV leadership for the news media is set for 9:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. Central Time today at 800-289-0572; confirmation code is 4928365. A replay will also be available for two days after the call and can be accessed at (888) 203-1112 (domestic) or (719) 457-0820 (international) by entering the conference identification number 4928365.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government, and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.