The History of Globalstar Phones and Services

The mobile system for Globalstar satellite phones is a Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) constellation consisting of 48 orbiting satellites which are 700 miles above the earth. Globalstar’s satellites relay the calls to ground bases gateways which connect the call to the public phone network. This provides customers with voice and data service from virtually anywhere to everywhere.

Globalstar was established from a division of Ford Aerospace in 1991 and developed into a partnership of the worlds most respected communication companies.

December 29, 1999 Globalstar USA announced the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) authorized Globalstar to sell satellite phone services to customers in the United States . Full commercial service would be launched in early 2000.

GlobalCom has been partnered with Globalstar since 2000 when it first launched full commercial service. GlobalCom is one of Globalstar’s largest producing partners providing superior customer service through its sales and rental departments. Today Globalstar offers both voice and data service in over 100 countries on six continents.

July 17, 2000 Globalstar USA announced that the handset price for satellite phones will be lowered from $1199.00 to $699.00 (with service commitment). Service plans now start at $24.95 per month with service rates as low as 99 cents per minute.

December 18, 2000 Globalstar USA launches Globalstar Data Services with Internet Access. The Globalstar satellite phone can now be used like a wireless modem when landline service is not available or when outside of cellular range. This first commercial application of data service through the Globalstar network opens a range of industrial and consumer applications. The Globalstar GSP-1600 phone attaches to a PC or personal digital assistant (PDA) through a cable, giving remote access to the Internet and most email.

June 18, 2001 Globalstar USA/Caribbean announced FREE Short Messaging Service (SMS) to its data services. Anyone with access to the Internet can now send a 19-character message to a Globalstar GSP-1600 hand held satellite phone. While in satellite mode the message will be delivered immediately. Any messages that are undelivered will be stored in the Globalstar network and attempts to deliver the message will be made for five days. Globalstar states they will be working on upgrading the (SMS) service to 200 characters in the future.

August 21, 2002
Globalstar USA/Caribbean drops air time rates as low as 17 cents per minute (only pennies on the dollar). This is a dramatic 80 % reduction in service pricing for the most popular hand held satellite phones on the market. Over 80% of the worlds land surface remains outside of cellular phone service. This new lower pricing will allow Globalstar to compete with the cellular market and provide a solution to the communication void by giving coverage everywhere in the U.S. and over 100 other countries with both voice and data service. In additional the list price of Globalstar satellite phones have been reduced to $599.00.

Globalstar provides high-quality wireless voice and data communication form virtually anywhere to everywhere at an affordable price for government, business, and individuals.

March 18, 2003 Globalstar is introducing a New, Low Cost Fixed Site for Globalstar Satellite Phones. This new unit is half the price of the Globalstar earlier fixed site phones. Ericsson manufactures the Globalstar FAU-200 which is weather proof and can be installed virtually anywhere outdoors. Any off the shelf cordless or desktop telephone simply plugs in to the unit allowing access to the network. The FAU-200 now will provide an economical solution for an enormous number of people living in remote and rural areas where there is no land line or cellular service where in an event of an emergency it could be the only means for help in an emergency. You can have up to three off the shelf extension phones off one line. The list price of the Globalstar FAU-200 is $999.00 and includes an omni-directional low profile antenna that does not require aiming or calibration at all.

June 17, 2003 Globalstar satellite phone usage soars in post-war Iraq beyond the most aggressive projections. There are thousands of users making over 1,000,000 calls per month. GlobalCom is proud to be a key infrastructure tool for an entire nation. GlobalCom partnered with Globalstar and is one of the leading providers for satellite phones in Iraq , Kuwait , and Saudi Arabia . Iraq ‘s phone system is severely damaged and it may take years before regular phone service is reestablished. The number of phones being used in Iraq has increased to tens of thousands. During the first week Globalstar introduced service in Iraq in April over 300,000 minutes of use was recorded. This is the high level of usage ever recorded in one country. The phone is being highly used by U.S. troops stationed in Iraq to make calls back home. The Globalstar satellite phones from GlobalCom is a low cost solution for the U.S. troops for stationed in Iraq . Globalstar and GlobalCom will normally see surges in interest in satellite phone service following disasters or emergencies. After the September 11 attacks GlobalCom has received hundreds of inquires from government, businesses as well as individual customers. GlobalCom partnered with Globalstar provides reliable and affordable communication system that will provide voice and data even when the local telephone infrastructure is disrupted.

July 7, 2003 Globalstar announces new lower service rates for U.S. customers when calling from overseas back to the U.S. as well as when making International calls. This makes Globalstar the lowest cost satellite phone provider in the world. Globalstar new roaming rate is now only 1.39 per minute when calling back to the U.S. while traveling in the majority of Globalstar coverage area. Globalstar’s new International long distance rates are now only an additional 26 cents per minute when calling over 140 countries.

November 21, 2003 The court approves the acquisition of Globalstar L.P. by Thermo. Thermo will invest up to $43 million which will give them 81.25% ownership in the new Globalstar company. The creditors will be distributed the remaining 18.75% of the equity interests in the new company.

December 8, 2003 Thermo Capital Partners LLC and Globalstar L.P. announced their acquisition plan has been finalized. Thermo will control the new Globalstar company and will provide funding for the new company. Globalstar’s assets will be transferred to the new company that will operate under the Globalstar brand name. Service will not be interrupted and in 2004 an accelerated business plan will be introduced. This will allow Globalstar to expand its business and allow them to introduce services and products.

March 11, 2004 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has formally approved the request to transfer the control of Globalstar’s regulatory authorizations and operating licenses over to the new Globalstar. Thermo Capital Partners owns a majority of Globalstar.

April 18, 2004 Globalstar plans to launch new enhanced services within the new number of months which include data compression which will allow a higher speed Internet connect for its customers. Also a new faxing service will be available allowing customers to send and receive faxes using a standard fax machine. GlobalCom is excited about these new services and will continue its commitment to the customer to provide the highest quality customer service available in the industry.

In 2007, Globalstar launched eight additional first-generation spare satellites into space to help compensate for the premature failure of their in-orbit satellites. Between 2010 and 2013, Globalstar launched 24 second-generation satellites in an effort to restore their system to full service.

Between 2010 and 2011, Globalstar moved its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Covington, Louisiana in part to take advantage of the state’s tax breaks and low cost of living.

In February 6, 2013 Globalstar, Inc. announced that six new second-generation Globalstar satellites were successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Learn More About Globastar: