Globalstar Confirms February 5th for Deployment of Final Satellites

Final Launch Will Complete Deployment of World’s First Second-Generation Constellation of LEO Satellites

COVINGTON, La., Jan. 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Globalstar, Inc. (OTCBB:GSAT) today announced that its fourth launch of six second generation satellites has been confirmed for February 5, 2013 at the following time:

10:20 p.m. Baikonur time
08:20 p.m. Moscow time
05:20 p.m. Paris time
11:20 a.m. Eastern Standard Time
10:20 a.m. Central Standard Time
08:20 a.m. Pacific Standard Time

This will be the fourth and final launch from the Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, completing Globalstar’s plan to orbit 24 second-generation satellites. Globalstar has previously launched 18 second-generation satellites in launches that occurred on October 19, 2010, July 13, 2011 and December 28, 2011. Globalstar has placed into commercial service all of the previously launched second-generation satellites.

The February 5th launch is the last launch necessary to fully restore Globalstar’s Duplex service to the high level of quality that Globalstar’s customers have historically enjoyed. Globalstar’s second-generation satellites were designed and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space with a service life of fifteen years, twice that of Globalstar’s first-generation satellites.

Globalstar’s launch services provider, Arianespace, will utilize the highly reliable Soyuz Fregat launch vehicle. Globalstar, in association with Arianespace, has previously completed eleven launches utilizing the Soyuz, which is credited with more than 1795 successful launches to date.

All six second-generation satellites for the fourth launch have been fueled and mated to the Dispenser, and the Upper Composite has been transferred to the assembly facility near the launch pad where it will be mated to the Soyuz.

Members of Globalstar’s executive management team, including Anthony Navarra, President of the Space Program, and L. Barbee Ponder, General Counsel and Vice President Regulatory Affairs, will attend the launch.

Globalstar Takes Delivery of Final Batch of Second-Generation Satellites for February Launch

Satellites to Fully Restore Industry Leading Commercial Voice and Data Services

Globalstar, Inc. yesterday announced that all six satellites scheduled for launch in early February are now at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Following the successful completion of their pre-shipment review at Thales’s manufacturing facility in Rome, the final two satellites arrived at the launch complex on December 9th.

Once deployed, the six satellites will restore full service to Globalstar’s customers and position the Company as the first mobile satellite service provider to deploy a second-generation constellation of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites. Combined with the Company’s affordable and award-winning suite of consumer retail SPOT products, Globalstar will be uniquely positioned to offer the world’s most extensive lineup of highly reliable and lowest priced mobile satellite services to the broadest range of customers around the globe.

“After more than six years of design and development, we are proud to announce that Globalstar is on the threshold of completing the deployment of our new constellation. This successful delivery signals the achievement of one of the last key milestones for our fourth launch and restoration of Globalstar’s industry leading service quality,” said Jay Monroe, Chairman and CEO for Globalstar, Inc.

Two of the six satellites previously delivered to the launch site have already been fueled and mated to the upper stack of the dispenser of the Soyuz launch vehicle. With the delivery of the final two satellites, the Company remains on schedule for a launch in early February.

Globalstar and Arianespace Plan Early February Launch to Complete Deployment of Constellation

All But One of the Previously-Launched Satellites Are Now Operational

Globalstar, Inc., today announced that the deployment of its second-generation constellation has entered the home stretch with the planning of an early February launch with its launch services provider, Arianespace. A successful fourth launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and subsequent deployment of the satellites will complete the return of the high quality and reliable service that Globalstar users have historically enjoyed.

With three launches already complete, current subscribers and new users are experiencing significantly improved performance and reliability with the industry’s highest voice quality, fastest mobile satellite handset data speeds and the most affordable service. Channel partners are also enjoying greater demand for product as well as increased inquiries regarding Globalstar’s resurgence.

The next few weeks will be extremely busy for Globalstar’s Space Operations Team as the fourth launch campaign begins. Satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space has confirmed that the review and shipment of these six spacecraft will be completed by the end of October, allowing pre-launch preparations to begin at the Cosmodrome for an early February launch. A launch during the first week of February allows Globalstar to place two of the new satellites into service almost immediately after launch.

Globalstar also announced that all but one of the previously launched satellites have now been placed into service as of September 29th. The one remaining satellite is already in its operational plane and is awaiting the upload of a software upgrade to remedy the previously reported momentum wheel issue. Globalstar expects to receive the software upgrade from Thales in mid-October, upload it into the satellite and then place it back into operation. This upgrade will be available for Globalstar’s other second generation satellites, if necessary.

“Since Globalstar embarked on a mission to be the first MSS provider to launch a second-generation LEO constellation, nothing about this process has been quick or easy,” said Jay Monroe, Chairman and CEO of Globalstar, Inc. “After 6 long years, we are proud to report that the finish line is within reach. Although the deployment of our new constellation with its improved design and capabilities has had its challenges, we can finally look forward to the long-term reliable service the new constellation will provide to our customers. We thank all of our partners for their tireless effort and our customers and distributors for their patience and support throughout the project.”

Globalstar and Thales Alenia Space Reach a Settlement of Prior Disputes and Agree to the Terms of a Commercial Proposal for the Purchase of Additional Satellites

Agreement Paves Way for Fourth Satellite Launch Expected Later This Year and Settles the Outcome of the Arbitration

Globalstar, Inc. announced on June 25, 2012 that it has reached a settlement of its prior disputes with Thales Alenia Space France (“Thales”) and has agreed to the terms of a commercial proposal for the purchase of six additional spacecraft from Thales.

The mutual settlement of the prior claims that Globalstar and Thales have against one another ensures that Thales will complete its current work under Phase 2 of the contract and deliver the remaining Batch 4 satellites to Globalstar so that a fourth launch of six satellites can be conducted this year.

In addition, Globalstar and Thales have agreed to the terms of a purchase of six additional second-generation satellites to be constructed by Thales with the construction expected to begin this year. Globalstar and Thales expect to enter into a commercial contract based upon these terms in the near future.

“This agreement both settles the previous disputes between Globalstar and Thales and establishes a clean slate for the program once again such that the parties are now positioned to work as strategic partners for the long-term,” said Jay Monroe, Chairman and CEO of Globalstar. “We would like to thank Thales and the French bank group for their hard work over the past several weeks and look forward to working with them as we complete the fourth launch this year and further secure the health of the constellation for the long-term.”

Globalstar Signs Agreement With Thales Alenia Space to Return Second-Generation Satellite to Service

Globalstar, a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, governments and consumers, and satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space today announced the signing of an agreement to develop satellite software to enhance operations of the Globalstar second generation satellites. As Globalstar has previously announced, one of twelve new second-generation satellites that have been launched is not currently providing service due to an issue with two of its momentum wheels. According to the agreement announced today, Thales Alenia Space will develop and provide the software necessary to adapt the in-flight configuration for this satellite, allowing it to return to service and sustain operations compliant with the objectives of its 15-year mission. This solution is expected to be implemented in stages over the coming months and is intended to be available for other satellites, if they experience similar issues in the future.

“Following weeks of simulations, design analysis and discussions with Thales Alenia Space, we welcome Thales’ agreement to develop a solution that should enable the affected satellite to return to full service and accomplish its primary mission of providing 15 years of high quality mobile satellite voice and data services,” said Tony Navarra, President of Global Operations for Globalstar, Inc.

“Thales Alenia Space has allocated major skilled resources to this development, which would allow Globalstar to operate the satellite even with this wheel anomaly. This software, after full validation on Thales Alenia Space Software and Avionics test benches, will be then uploaded in flight, thanks to on board computer capability. It will also be available for other satellites, if needed, to help ensure their expected lifetime,” said Michel Fiat, CTO of Thales Alenia Space.

Globalstar is also in the final decision-making period for its third satellite launch currently scheduled for December and expects to announce updated launch information shortly.

Globalstar Successfully Launches Six New Satellites into Orbit

Globalstar has announced that six new second-generation Globalstar satellites were successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, using the Soyuz launch vehicle.

The Globalstar satellites were launched on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 8:27 a.m. local time (2:27 a.m. UTC and 10:27 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, July 12, 2011), using the Soyuz-Fregat version of the Soyuz launch vehicle. This is the 1774th successful launch of the Soyuz family launch vehicle.

Launch services provider Arianespace confirmed that the upper stage accurately injected the six second-generation satellites into the targeted low earth orbit of approximately 920 km. Globalstar reports that all six satellites have been successfully acquired following separation of the Fregat Upper Stage and release from the satellite dispenser. Globalstar has initiated satellite in-orbit testing and the performance of all six spacecraft is nominal at this time.

“It is with great pleasure that we announce the successful second launch and continued deployment of our second-generation satellites and we look forward to the future services the constellation will support,” said Tony Navarra, President of Global Operations for Globalstar, Inc. “With these six new satellites now safely in orbit, we once again congratulate and applaud all of our Globalstar employees world-wide and thank launch provider Arianespace as well as our satellite contractor Thales Alenia Space for this launch success.”

Globalstar signed a contract with satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space in late 2006 for the design, manufacture and delivery of its second-generation constellation satellites. A total of four launches of six satellites each will be conducted by launch services provider Arianespace.

The Globalstar second-generation satellite constellation is designed to support the Company’s current lineup of voice, Duplex and Simplex data products and services including its lineup of SPOT retail consumer products. The new satellites are designed to last for 15 years, twice the lifespan of Globalstar‘s first generation satellites.

Once the four launches are complete and the second-generation satellite constellation is fully deployed, Globalstar expects to provide the world’s finest quality mobile satellite voice and fastest mobile satellite handset data services to commercial and government customers in more than 120 countries. Combined with its affordable suite of consumer retail SPOT products, Globalstar expects to offer the world’s most extensive lineup of high quality mobile satellite services to the broadest range of commercial and retail consumer customers around the globe.

Globalstar prepares six new second-generation satellites for July launch

Globalstar Satellite Launch

Globalstar Satellite Launch

Globalstar, Inc. a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, government, and recreational consumers announced that six new Globalstar satellites are now being prepared for the second launch of the Company’s second-generation satellite constellation. The satellites now undergoing pre-launch testing and integration in preparation for launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Engineers and technicians from launch services provider Arianespace and satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space have begun the necessary testing and integration process in preparation for a July liftoff using the highly reliable Soyuz launch vehicle. Later this year Globalstar plans to conduct two additional launches of six satellites per launch also using the Soyuz.

In October 2010 the same launch vehicle was used to successfully launch six new Globalstar second-generation satellites. Globalstar signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space in late 2006 for the design, manufacture and delivery of its second-generation constellation satellites. In 2007 Globalstar contracted with Arianespace for a total of four launches of six satellites each using the reliable human-rated Soyuz, which is also used to launch astronauts and cosmonauts to the international space station. Globalstar plans to integrate the 24 new second-generation satellites with the eight first-generation satellites that were launched in 2007. The new satellites are designed to support Globalstar’s current lineup of voice, Duplex and Simplex data products and services including the Company’s lineup of SPOT retail consumer products.

Spotlight on Globalstar

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.

Technicians working on a new Globalstar satellite. (Photo courtesy of Arianespace)

Technicians working on a new Globalstar satellite. (Photo courtesy of Arianespace)

 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

If these features are made available this constellation upgrade would arguably make Globalstar the most advanced satellite phone operator. 

So what handsets are available on the Globalstar network?  Global Telesat Communications offers the GSP-1700, Globalstar’s newest model.  This handset weighs just 200g and is a fairly compact handset considering its capabilities which include voice, data, SMS and a battery life of 4 hours talk time and 36 hours standby.  This model is priced at £650 ex VAT.  There have also been suggestions that a new model will be launched in the near future.

Globalstar GSP-1700 Satellite Phone

Looking at airtime pricing Globalstar currently offer a great value plan with unlimited minutes in certain regions for just €34.99 a month.  This plan was launched to entice new customers as a result of the poor service levels and it is likely that  new airtime plans, including prepaid options, will become available once the constellation upgrade is complete.

Although not a truly global network like 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.