A Hughes Aircraft Co. subsidiary said Wednesday that it has sought authorization from the Federal Communications Commission to build and operate a satellite-based mobile communications system.
The Hughes system, providing voice, data and paging services to mobile users, will require an investment of roughly $300 million to set up and could generate annual revenue of about $100 million, according to John E. Koehler, a Hughes executive.
Hughes was one of 12 companies that filed applications Monday to build a satellite-based system, which will use a radio frequency that the FCC has reserved for the purpose. The system would contain a number of technical advances to enable direct radio links from a mobile unit to a satellite.
The Hughes system would compete with cellular mobile telephone systems, which communicate via land-based stations. The satellite-based system, which may include Canada, will provide nationwide coverage to units in automobiles, airplanes and trains, Hughes said.