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TerreStar Selects IBM to Help Design Nation’s First 4G Mobile Communications Network


IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that TerreStar Networks Inc., an emerging mobile network operator, has selected IBM BladeCenter servers to design, build and operate the world’s first all IP fourth generation terrestrial and satellite based communications network.

TerreStar Networks, located in Reston, Virginia, is building an innovative mobile satellite and terrestrial communications network to serve government, first responder and enterprise customers. With a launch planned for 2008, TerreStar requires the most scalable and proven technology for mission critical applications. Following a competitive evaluation, the company has decided to standardize on the new IBM BladeCenter HT system for advanced applications.
“We needed the optimal platform that would allow us to move ahead and execute a VoIP solution to create our next generation voice service,” said Jeff Stern, Vice President, Service Architecture and Channel Support, TerreStar Networks. “IBM BladeCenter offered unsurpassed performance, reliability and scalability. IBM BladeCenter HT ran TerreStar’s Internet Protocol Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) application feature and service delivery platform at a fraction of the cost of alternative blade server platforms. IBM BladeCenter can deliver the best support for our mission critical applications and minimize upfront expense; while allowing us to scale capacity to keep up with anticipated growth.”

During an emergency, cell phone towers can become overwhelmed or fail when antennas go down. TerreStar is scheduled to launch the world’s largest commercial satellite, a first of its kind with the unique ability to allocate bandwidth in real time to impacted regions of the country. The system is designed to handle extreme call volume and data communications essential for first responders. With its satellite system consistently backing up mobile phones, laptop and custom mobile devices, customers will have access to voice, video and broadband communications during any situation.

TerreStar is one of the first mobile operators to install and operate the newly available IBM BladeCenter HT platform, running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The powerful IBM BladeCenter HT is specifically optimized for telecommunications companies based on its high-speed connectivity for network bandwidth up to 10 times greater than previously possible.

“By teaming with TerreStar, an innovative leap in the mobile communications industry is taking place,” said Jim Pertzborn, Vice President, Telecommunications Industry Servers, IBM. “What IBM BladeCenter is delivering to the telecommunications industry is hard to beat. BladeCenter HT greatly reduces network infrastructure costs while dramatically increasing network infrastructure performance and flexibility -- making it the ideal platform to run next-generation, high-performance core telecom network applications.”

In its quest to be the first telecommunications company to also offer customer-designed products and applications over its fully optimized IP-enabled satellite based network, TerreStar is already looking to expand its business beyond North America. And to enable that global footprint, IBM BladeCenter will quickly scale and meet TerreStar’s specific networking requirements while maintaining complete interoperability and investment protection.


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