With Globalstar due to begin the launch of their second-generation satellites tomorrow we take a look at what it will mean for existing and potential users of the Globalstar satellite network.When you mention the name Globalstar to those familiar with the sat phone market the response is not usually a positive one. Due to satellite degradation, users of Globalstar’s voice and duplex data services have experienced deteriorating levels of call quality and reliability over the past few years. However this is set to change with the launch of six new satellites from Kazakhstan on 19 October 2010. This will be followed by three further launches carrying six satellites each and each launch will bring an increase in the quality of service. By the end of the constellation upgrade Globalstar will have a 32 satellite constellation in orbit.
Once the satellites have been fully deployed Globalstar will have the most advanced constellation within the satellite phone market and one which will have a lifespan into 2025. As a result of the upgrades Globalstar are suggesting that the following features will be available:
- Increased data speeds of up to 256 kbps in a flexible Internet protocol multimedia subsystem (IMS) configuration.
- Push-to-talk and multicasting
- Advanced messaging capabilities such as multimedia messaging or MMS, mobile video
- Geo-location services
- Multi-band and multi-mode handsets
- Data devices with GPS integration
Iridium, Globalstar does offer vast coverage over the majority of North/South America, Europe, Northern Africa, Middle/Far East and Australia. Globalstar’s low earth orbit satellites will allow very clear call quality and minimal connection times.We have made recent test calls using Globalstar which show even now with the current degradation problems the call quality is very clear when you use the Globalstar Call Times Tool to work out the optimal time to make a call. Like the recent launch of the Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro this improved Globalstar service is opening up the satellite phone market to increased competition which could lead to lower prices in the future. If you have any questions about Globalstar handsets or airtime please contact us.