A discussion of the ability of communications satellite systems to provide broadband, long-distance communications at microwave frequencies without depending on intermediate ground-relay stations. Various alternative systems are identified: passive systems, low-orbit active systems, and twenty-four hour satellite systems. Part I of this study surveys the characteristics of these systems and assesses their advantages and disadvantages. Part II estimates the economic potential of communications satellites in terms of cost comparisons with other forms of telecommunications and in terms of demand prospects. A communications satellite system would very greatly increase the number of long-distance increase the number of long-distance channels available, and the cost per channel is therefore tied critically to the question of future demand for additional channels. (An abridgment of RM-2925.)
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.