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Thread: Globalstar

  1. #1
    Member Ak Fireman's Avatar
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    Default Globalstar

    Has anyone used a Globalstar phone around Tok/ Taylor highway area recently? If so, how long to get a signal and how long did you keep the signal.
    Thanks, Travis

  2. #2

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    No I have not. I did a wikapedia search http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Globalstar

    From the site.....

    Recent problems

    According to documents filed with the SEC on January 30, 2007, Globalstar's previously identified problems with its S-band amplifiers used on its satellites for two-way communications are occurring at a rate faster than previously believed, possibly eventually leading to total loss of service in 2008.
    In the filing, Globalstar made the following statements:
    "Based on data recently collected from satellite operations, the Company has concluded that the degradation of the amplifiers is now occurring at a rate that is faster than previously experienced and faster than the Company had previously anticipated."
    "Based on its most recent analysis, the Company now believes that, if the degradation of the S-band antenna amplifiers continues at the current rate or further accelerates, and if the Company is unsuccessful in developing additional technical solutions, the quality of two-way communications services will decline, and by some time in 2008 substantially all of the Company’s currently in-orbit satellites will cease to be able to support two-way communications services." [3]
    Industry analysts speculate the problem is caused by radiation exposure the satellites receive when they pass through the South Atlantic Anomaly in their 876 mile (1414 km) altitude orbits.[1]
    "The S-band antenna amplifier degradation does not affect adversely the Company’s one-way “Simplex” data transmission services, which utilize only the L-band uplink from a subscriber’s “Simplex” terminal to the satellites. " [4]
    "The Company is working on plans, including new products and services and pricing programs, and exploring the feasibility of accelerating procurement and launch of its second-generation satellite constellation, to attempt to reduce the effects of this problem upon its customers and operations. The Company will be able to forecast the duration of service coverage at any particular location in its service area and intends to make this information available without charge to its service providers, including its wholly owned operating subsidiaries, so that they may work with their subscribers to reduce the impact of the degradation in service quality in their respective service areas. The Company is also reviewing its business plan in light of these developments. " [5]
    "The Company’s liquidity remains strong. At December 31, 2006, in addition to its credit agreement, the Company had unrestricted cash on hand and undrawn amounts under the Thermo Funding Company irrevocable standby stock purchase agreement of approximately $195 million." [6]
    [edit] Globalstar's Interim Solution

    On 18 April 2007 Globalstar announced they would launch eight spare satellites to augment the company’s existing first-generation LEO satellite constellation.[2] On 29 May 2007 the first four of these satellites were launched by Starsem from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz-FG/Fregat rocket. The second launch, also aboard a Soyuz-FG/Fregat from Baikonur, was launched on 2007-10-20.[3]
    However, it is still not clear when the new satellites will improve phone communications. The Globalstar website is mute on this issue. Most current users in summer 2007 report difficulty using the phones, with very short communication windows of 1–2 minutes and frequently dropped calls[citation needed]. In addition, an offshore fishing magazine (Big Game Fishing Journal) wrote an editorial in their July 2007 issue on the poor service of Globalstar [7].


    I would steer clear personally.

  3. #3

    Default

    This is form the global star website. It is an optimal availability report.

    They have a heck of a deal on sat phones right now. $1000 till rune of 2010, unlimited. i actually thought about getting one to replace my cell phone a couple of months agoe but it doesn't look like it is a reliable system. They actually have a page up stating that their sytem will probably have problems until they upgrade.

    If you use it and it works for you let us know.

  4. #4
    Member Ak Fireman's Avatar
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    Default

    I called Globalstar the other day to ask about the service in alaska. The guy said they still have service. Its just delayed at times and dropped calls are more frequent. He also told me I could purchase a new GSP 1600 (older model) for $299 and unlimited minutes for $39.00 a month without a contract, and in June of 09 it would go to $19.99 a month with a 1yr contract. He said that there satelites would be back to 100% in 2010.
    I could live with it for a few years if I knew I could atleast get a few minutes of service at a time to get a short message out.

  5. #5
    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default

    I use Globalstar and have for years ... switched over from Iridium when Iridium went down and there was an equipment buy back and Globalstar had a great sign up deal for the Alaska Iridium accounts. The service was great for quite awhile. Much better than Iridium ever was.

    Starting last year (maybe fall '06) when Globalstar started having problems service got worse but was still usable.

    I just tried mine while down south for a doctors appointment ... I got about one strong signal for about 20 minutes at a time and several short signals. You just have to be able to stand by till the good Satalite(s) comes around.

    $40 a month for unlimited (minutes) service in North America is not bad. Sometimes I trip the Canadian gateway when hunting down in the Misty Fjords and always have from Hyder. Those extra charges from Iridium and in the beginning Globalstar (roaming) were allot. I remember some $800 per month bills, but airtime back in the day was allot more than now. I haven't paid roaming now for several years.

    I'll try it up here (ketchikan) in the next day or two and report on what I have.

  6. #6

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    I can't spell I guess and the thing I tried to post last night didn't go through. Here is a link to the optimum availability tool.

    http://www.globalstarusa.com/en/optimum_tool/

  7. #7
    Member muskeg's Avatar
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    Default good conections today

    Thanks for the link Jim .... I printed the times out and checked it with my phone today ....

    Between 11:45 am and about 5pm there are 10 times of availability listed on the Globalstar report. 3 slots had no connections ..... 3 slots had partial up and down connections (calls could be placed but could be dropped) .... 4 slots had good connections of 10 to 20 minutes each (where there would be no problem placing long calls) ....

    Not 100% connection but good enough for use in my hunting guiding business.

    We also have hand held VHF radios to use in case of extreme emergency. The USCG has their ear on all the time.

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