Inmarsat is investigating the design of a general purpose point-to-multipoint service, the Inmarsat Data Distribution Service (IDDS). This paper provides an overview of the system, the design goals, and its capabilities. IDDS may be used for distribution of datagram (packetised) as well as stream mode data, including digitized audio at rates from 4 to 128 kbit/s. The IDDS is initially designed for transmissions in the mobile satellite service (MSS) L-band, to existing medium-antenna-gain receivers in the aeronautical, maritime and land mobile markets. The signal format makes use of a variable number of orthogonal carriers, flexible multiplexing, and forward error control, and is both bandwidth and power efficient. This signal format could in future be applied to satellite broadcasting, including terrestrial gap-filling, in the BSS(S) L-band when the allocation and appropriate satellites become available.
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