Globalstar announced that Mr. Laurent Wauquiez, the French Minister in charge of Space Operations, has issued to Globalstar its final authorization to operate its second generation constellation of satellites. Consequently, the French Ministry has commenced the process to register the satellites with the United Nations as provided under the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space. Globalstar's second generation satellite constellation represents one of the first space operations authorized under the recently enacted French Space Act.
In March of this year, the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted Globalstar conditional authority to operate its second-generation satellites within the United States pending the completion of the French authorization process. Globalstar has formally notified the Federal Communications Commission of the successful completion of this process in order to bring the Commission's March 18, 2011 Order into effect.
Globalstar will now activate its ground stations in North America to begin sending and receiving call traffic with the second-generation satellites, thus improving coverage availability for Globalstar voice and duplex data customers in the United States, Canada, Northern Mexico, Puerto Rico and the surrounding regions.
"The final authorization of our second-generation constellation by the French Government represents a major milestone for Globalstar employees, shareholders and customers," said L. Barbee Ponder, General Counsel and VP of Regulatory Affairs, Globalstar, Inc. "On behalf of Globalstar, I would like to especially acknowledge and thank those at CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales), the French Ministry in charge of Space Operations (Ministère de l'Enesignement Superieur et de la Recherche), the International Bureau of the FCC, and the numerous other individuals who helped ensure the successful completion of this process."
"This is fantastic news for our distributors and all the patient and loyal users of Globalstar's voice and duplex data services throughout the U.S., Canada, Northern Mexico and the Caribbean," said Steve Smits, VP of International Sales and Marketing, Globalstar, Inc. "As we activate our ground stations throughout the U.S. and Canada, these customers can expect their call completion percentage to substantially improve. We anticipate call completion will continue to improve for all of our global customers as we deploy additional satellites from our second launch in July as well as the 12 additional satellites slated to launch later this year."
Globalstar launched six new second-generation satellites in October of 2010 and an additional six satellites in July of 2011. The operational satellites from these first two launches have previously been providing improved coverage for Globalstar customers outside of North America and the surrounding territory. Last week, the Company announced the successful delivery of additional satellites to Baiknour where they are being prepped for the third launch currently scheduled for early October. Globalstar plans to complete the first four launches of its new satellites by the end of this year.
Once the new constellation is fully deployed, the Company expects to, once again, provide the world's finest quality mobile satellite voice and fastest mobile satellite handset data services to commercial, residential and government customers throughout its entire global coverage area.