Globalstar, Inc., a leading provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, governments and consumers, announced it has successfully completed hardware and software updates to three ground monitoring control centers, the Globalstar data network and system planning center and has installed satellite telemetry and command unit (TCU) upgrades to seven of its satellite gateway ground stations.
TCU upgrades were installed at strategically located Globalstar gateway ground stations in Argentina, Australia, Botswana, France, Korea, and the United States. The upgrades are designed to provide Globalstar with the capability to globally monitor and control the orbital deployment of its new second-generation satellite constellation. The first of four launches of six satellites each is scheduled for October 19, 2010.
The telemetry and command unit upgrades were provided and installed by Thales Alenia Space, the manufacturer of Globalstar’s new second-generation satellites. Four launches of six satellites each will be conducted by launch services provider Arianespace using the highly reliable Soyuz launch vehicle. The Soyuz has been used to successfully launch Globalstar satellites on eight previous occasions. Globalstar plans to integrate the 24 new second-generation satellites with the eight first-generation satellites that were launched in 2007, to form a 32 satellite constellation.
Once the first six new Globalstar satellites are in operational orbit, the most immediate service improvement will benefit those customers who use the Company’s voice and Duplex data services. With each subsequent launch, these customers can expect a progressive return to the high reliability and service quality enjoyed before 2007.
The second-generation 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. The advanced constellation combined with the Company’s next-generation ground network, expected to be installed by 2012, is also designed to provide Globalstar customers with enhanced future services featuring increased data speeds of up to 256 kbps in a flexible Internet protocol multimedia subsystem (IMS) configuration. Products and services supported are expected to include: push-to-talk and multicasting, advanced messaging capabilities such as multimedia messaging or MMS, geo-location services, multi-band and multi-mode handsets, and data devices with GPS integration.
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