1. Why is MSCI building a Telecommunications Constellation?
    • To respond to the overwhelming global demand for a cost-effective and fast-to-market solution for backhaul. This will have a direct impact on the world’s 7.65B (estimated by 2020) population using mobile and Internet service.
  2. Why is MSCI building a Polar LEO Constellation? Others are Building GEO and MEO equatorial satellites for Backhaul – why Polar?
    • A polar constellation will provide global coverage with high density of capability in the northern hemisphere where the largest markets are with the highest demand - away from the equator. This is the opposite of MEO and GEO's.
  3. Why aren’t Others Building Polar Constellations?
    • A LEO polar constellation requires many satellites in order to provide global coverage. Traditional approaches to satellite building are too expensive – the business case is hard too make. MSCI’s approach to building satellites saves significant cost and schedule and enables the backhaul business case – this is a disruptive technology approach.
  4. What stage is COMMStellation™ at presently?
    • MSCI has completed the preliminary design of the spacecraft and the constellation to achieve 100% global coverage with sufficient overlap. MSCI is now talking to investors and partners with complementary interests.
  5. Who is financing COMMStellation™?
    • This information is not public currently
  6. What other partners are working on this project?
    • MSCI is not currently identifying partner entities, but we are in talks with strategic investors whose business model is complementary, development partners (launchers, ground segment, payload, antenna), service providers, and governments
  7. Who are the COMMStellation™ customers?
    • By the end of 2020, there will be approximately 7 billion mobile licenses worldwide. Mobile operators are at or near capacity. In Canada alone, the telecom industry has estimated that it would take a $7B investment and over 10 years to provide to all of Canada a capability that COMMStellation™ could provide for an order of magnitude of the cost and half the schedule. COMMStellation™ will be distributed by Internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile service providers (MSPs) worldwide.
  8. Where did the idea come from?
    • The idea was really market driven. Everything one reads and hears about in telecommunications is a cry for help with backhaul. MSCI has a different approach and different way of thinking than traditional satellite manufacturers. We realized that we could actually build a better, faster and cheaper constellation.
  9. What makes COMMStellation™ different?
    • MSCI uses commercial electronic parts carefully selected from harsh environment terrestrial sectors that have proven ability to withstand the temperature, vacuum, and radiation environment of LEO space.
    • Not using traditional high-rel parts means that parts are much less expensive and can be procured much faster. This results in much less expensive satellites that can be deployed faster. The constellation costs are less and revenue is generated sooner. This enables business cases that would otherwise not be feasible.
    • Because the satellites are less expensive, the constellation can afford more of them which means that each satellite is closer to the end user and therefore requires less power to reach a ground customer antenna than a MEO satellite and with almost an order of magnitude less data latency. Assuming comparable antenna efficiency, a MSCI LEO spacecraft at 1,000 km requires about 1.5% of the transmitter power of a MEO satellite at 8000 Km to provide the same data strength to a ground receiver. The on-board power requirements are scaled down proportionately and therefore the satellite can be much smaller and more can fit in each launcher. This is a virtuous circle of cost reduction.
    • COMMStellation™ will have 100% global coverage. It will be the only constellation providing this capability.
    • Because of the proximity to the earth and the number of microsatellites required, MSCI’s Polar COMMStellation™ will be at least 5x faster than a comparable medium earth orbit constellation.
    • Because of the cost efficiencies, COMMStellation™ can afford to have 12 redundant microsatellites ensuring that any failure will trigger a seamless transition to a working microsatellite
    • MSCI’s 72 Microsatellites will not require as many launchers as a comparable medium earth orbit (MEO) constellation, and the launchers will not need to be as big or travel as far therefore allowing newer smaller, less expensive launchers to be used.
  10. Constellations have had issues in the past, what will make this one different?
    • Constellations have had business and technical problems in the past. Either they were launched to address a market that did not develop until much later than forecasted or they failed prematurely and were too costly in budget and schedule to replace quickly. COMMStellation™ is responding to a huge market need and is very cost and schedule effective to replace or upgrade.
  11. When does MSCI expect to launch this constellation?
    • 2016 - 2018
  12. When does MSCI expect the constellation to be operational?
    • 2016 (initial) - 2018 (full capacity)
  13. What role will MSCI play?
    • MSCI masterminded the COMMStellation™ concept and will develop the microsatellites, coordinate the ground station procurement, and act as project administrator. MSCI will partner with other companies to provide the payload, launchers, ground stations, and companies to act as service providers.
  14. What types of companies will use this service?
    • Internet and Mobile Service Providers and any company that sells communications but are restricted by infrastructure.
  15. How does this differ from a medium earth orbit (MEO) constellation?
    • The differences are described here
  16. What will make up this constellation?
    • 72 satellites situated in 6 orbital planes with an additional 12 satellites, 2 in each orbital plane for redundancy. The ground control segment will consist of 35 ground stations.
  17. Do you need to get Government approvals to launch such a satellite constellation?
    • International bodies that govern the use of space and telecommunications will be required to approve this constellation, a well known process that all companies putting objects in space or requiring spectrum must go through.
  18. Is the Canadian Government involved in this project?
    • We have and continue to brief sectors of the Canadian Government and the response has been very positive.
  19. Where exactly will the satellites be launched?
    • At this point, the launch location or launch partner has not been finalized.
  20. How will the microsatellites be launched?
    • The satellites are planned to be launched at 14 to a rocket.
  21. How will MSCI pull off such a grand project?
    • MSCI is responding to a huge market need that is requiring a solution more and more as each day passes. This constellation is a no-brainer and every company we have engaged or that has engaged us is very excited and sees the potential of this constellation. MSCI continues to look for partners with complementary interests and to date we have had discussions with a number of major players in space and telecommunications verticals.
  22. Who will develop the payload?
    • MSCI has not finalized on the company but a number of companies are available and interested. MSCI will be responsible for integrating the payload into the satellites.
  23. Is MSCI still building the constellation team?
    • MSCI has had interest from major players in telecommunications and space technology verticals that bring complementary interests to MSCI. We welcome inquiries from other companies, governments, or other business entities that believe they can bring complementary interests to a project of this magnitude.


MSCI Announces a Global Satellite Communications Constellation Called COMMStellation™ more.

MSCI is North America's Fastest more.

MSCI Launches more.


Blogger    Twitter


COMMStellation Videos