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Globalstar was originally established back in 1991, but did not begin
offering their services at the commercial level until late 1999.
Globalstar's service network spans anywhere over 100 countries, as
well as most terrestrial water and mid-ocean regions.
Globalstar's satellite phone network works through the use of 48 Low
Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites which pick up signals from over 80%
of the Earth's surface. Each satellite consists of an antenna, a
trapezoidal body, two solar arrays and a magnetometer. Operation
takes place at an altitude of 1,414km (876 miles).
The software used to run the entire system is located on the ground,
and not aboard the satellites themselves. This arrangement ensures
that any system maintenance and upgrades can be accomplished
quickly and easily.
A major advantage of such an orbital configuration is that there is no
perceptible voice delay during conversations. The LEO satellite
configuration also allows for the use of smaller all-in-one phones.
Several of these satellites pick up the signals from Globalstar phones,
ensuring that the call will not get dropped as the phone moves out of
sight of one satellite, and into the field if reception of another one. The
satellites then relay the signals to ground-based gateways. From here,
the signal is transferred to the terrestrial cellular and fixed telephone
The beauty of this system is that it allows for the use of a telephone
service in areas where cellular telephone infrastructure has yet to
reach. Globalstar also offers the following services in addition to
Internet and private data network connectivity
SMS (short messaging service)
Globalstar's products are perfect for use in a wide range of
environments including maritime and aviation applications. In the
future, expect for Globalstar to expand its service to cover a few land
and oceanic areas that are not presently covered . The entire
Globalstar satellite constellation is operated and managed by the
Satellite Operations Control Centre (SOCC).
Below is a list of advantages of Globalstar's satellite communication
Clarity of voice
Almost no perceptible voice delay
Fewer dropped calls
Lighter all-in-one phones
Globalstar offers a wide range of hardware equipments to support
voice or data communication almost anywhere you go. This includes
mobile phones that function as both cellular and satellite phones.
These phones allow the user to stay connected from virtually
anywhere with reliable voice and data services. Globalstar also offer
fixed phones that are perfect for those with homes, offices or
worksites located in remote areas where a mobile installation is not
desirable. Also offered are data kits which allow for connection to a
PC or PDA to the Internet via a Globalstar handset. Specialized
modem products are also available from Globalstar that allow for
higher bandwidth or customized telemetry applications. Globalstar's
encryption devices are also available for use with their phones.
These ensure that all voice or data communications are sent
securely. Whether for use in the air, land or sea, Globalstar has
something tailored to the environment.
Here's a diagram illustrating Globalstar's satellite phone global
>Green: Service area currently unavailable to North American roamers
>Orange: Primary service area
>Purple: Fringe Globalstar service area
>Light yellow: Extended service area
Globalstar also now offers coverage in Iraq at a flat rate of $1.39 per
minute for outbound and inward-coming calls to and from the USA.
There is no long-distance or roaming service on offer.
For customers that are using Globalstar's FAU-200 fixed satellite
phone, calls can be placed from US/Caribbean Home Service
Areas and Canada to any standard phone number in the world.
The airtime minutes included in Globalstar's satellite phone service
apply only to the United States and Caribbean Home Service Area.
Roaming rates are charged outside of the United States and Caribbean.