In the 1950s long distance telephone communication by wire or Herz circuit was extremely limited and usually very expensive. In 1956, the installation of the first transatlantic telephone cable, TAT 1, signaled the beginning of the present era in intercontinental telecommunications. However, it soon became apparent that underwater cables would not meet the ever-increasing demand for communications created by expanding global economic activity. At the same time, radio communications also experienced growing demand, and suffered from overcrowded frequencies. It was therefore natural that the first application of telecommunications technology in space focused on the improvement of intercontinental circuits.
EUTELSAT: Europe's Satellite Telecommunications,
Mich. J. Int'l L.
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