Also: AT&T inks $150 million deal with News Corp.; smart card interoperability spec draftedLoral Space & Communications, a satellite service provider and manufacturer, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week. The service provider also announced the sale of six of its satellites that hover over North America to Intelsat for $1.1 billion. Loral, which operates a global network of satellites, says its mounting debt totaling $2.2 billion drove the company into bankruptcy. The company says it will reorganize with a smaller, international fleet and continue to focus on its satellite manufacturing business. Loral offers satellite data services to enterprise and government customers. The company also offers broadcast video services to television and cable network providers.AT&T \u00a0has inked a seven-year contract with News Corp. worth $150 million. The deal includes ATM, frame relay, private line, Internet access, local and long-distance voice services domestically and around the world. News Corp. uses AT&T's network to connect 130 offices in Asia, Australia, Europe and the U.S.Members of a consortium supporting the use of smart cards to identify users in wireless Internet networks have drafted a specification to ensure interoperability between card and device manufacturers. A major feature of the WLAN-SIM V0.1 specification, which the WLAN Smart Card Consortium approved, is the use of Subscriber Identification Module technology as an authentication tool in wireless LAN hotspots, the consortium said last week. SIM technology, which essentially consists of a smart card containing user ID data, is a core component of GSM networks. The ID technology is used to support roaming, billing and other back-office services seamlessly across mobile networks. Smart card-based authentication in WLAN hot spots will offer companies the same level of security they are accustomed to in GSM networks, the association said.