Towards the Personal Communicator

Presentation / Towards the Personal Communicator

Date Submitted: 06 June 2001

Written by RPC Telecommunications. Website:

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A short lecture presented to the Surrey Section of the IEE (the IEE is the British Institution of Electrical Engineers) by Mark C J Posen of RPC Telecommunications Ltd.

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 Printable Version
-Section 1
"Beam Me Up Scottie"
-Section 2
-Section 3
Orbit Mechanics
-Section 4
-Section 5
-Section 6
-Section 7
Implementation & The Future

"Beam me up Scottie"


Hello. As you've heard, I'm Mark Posen of RPC Telecom. I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to talk to you about one of the most exciting developments in satellite telecommunications for a long time. 

I was involved in Satellite Personal Communications, albeit in a relatively peripheral role, from the early days. I lead the project team of ETSI which studied the early proposals and identified where standardisation and regulation was needed in Europe to facilitate the free movement of equipment through the Union and to ensure that European regulatory requirements were met. I'll speak for around 45 minutes and then we'll have some time for questions.


"Beam me up, Scottie!" The pocket-sized personal communicator has long been the stuff of Sci-fi...

So, where does this story start? Well, we are all very familiar with these particular gentlemen (Star Trek crew). They have a very well developed communications system. They are in permanent communications contact (except when necessary to develop the plot) with their ship wherever they are... in space... on the surface of a planet or even deep below its surface. Their "personal communicator's" are an essential part of their day-to-day lives and they really couldn't function without them, but does any of this have any relevance to the real World?


First a question. What do these people have in common?

  • A businessman traveling in Africa
  • A farmer on a Pacific island who exports his crops in a volatile international market
  • The director of an emergency team dealing with an earthquake in South America
  • Or even an IEE lecturer, stuck in a cutting on the M25 and late for a presentation!

Well, let me put a question to you first of all... (slide) [apart from being a very contrived set of individuals that is] well...


They need access to good communications 

  • Independent of where they are
  • Independent of time of day
  • Independent of infrastructure availability

They need Personal Communications!
Satellite Personal Communications Networks (S-PCN) can provide this now (almost!).

(slide) How do we define "PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS"? well, we'll go on to see... first though, let me outline the structure of my presentation.


PP Presentation Outline

  • Concept - the personal communicator 
  • Proposals - specific plans
  • Implementation - Who? How? When?
  • The future...

First I'll review the CONCEPT - what do we mean by PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS? What is involved? How does S-PCN fit in? Then I'll look at some specific PROPOSALS real commercial projects - NOT R&D - being implemented right now I'll look briefly at how S-PCN will be IMPLEMENTED and then finally attempt a bit of crystal ball gazing to look at THE FUTURE.

Next: Section 2 - Concept


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