Globalstar, the satellite phone company which has had voice operations virtually haulted by deteriorization of their low orbit (LEO) satellites, today announced they hope to have four previously launched satellites in service by the middle of next month.
When these satellites become operational, later this summer, the company expects to once again begin providing mobile satellite voice and data services to customers around the globe.
“It has been a long road to recovery but these four satellites becoming operational is expected to pave the way for us to begin offering quality mobile satellite voice and data services in August,” said Tony Navarra, President of Global Operations for Globalstar, Inc. “Over the past 20 months we have completed the launch of 18 of our 24 new satellites.
“We also expect to add additional satellites into service in the fall to further increase the performance of our network. Once we complete our fourth satellite launch and then introduce our next generation ground segment upgrades, we look forward to providing even better performance and improved future benefits to our customers.”
Thales Alenia Space built the Globalstar satellites. Globalstar and Thales have reached a settlement over mutual lawsuits and Thales has agreed to 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. Globalstar currently has 18 of 24 second-generation Globalstar satellites in orbit.
Thales Alenia Space officials say they have analyzed the Globalstar constellation and have concluded, as has Globalstar, that the company’s business plan could be realized with 30 satellites in orbit, not the 48 originally ordered.
A successful Globalstar, they said, could be only six new satellites away. Globalstar’s success is in the satellite builder’s interests, which is why it has continued to work with Globalstar despite the occasionally strained relations between the manufacturer and the customer, reports SpaceNews.
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