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Globalstar Technology
How is Globalstar able to provide such a reliable and dependable communications service? Here is a brief overview of some elements that contribute to the exceptional service and coverage of Globalstar:

Technology / LEO Satellites
A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is any Earth orbit up to approximately 1,500 kilometers in altitude. Low-Earth-Orbit satellite systems offer significant advantages over Geosynchronous (GEO) systems for the delivery of mobile satellite services (MSSs). These advantages result from an orbit selection that enhances the quality of services to low-power mobile hand-held and vehicle-mounted user equipment. GEO satellite systems, located at an altitude of 35,800 kilometers above the Earth, are best suited for their missions of high-speed data, television transmission, and other wideband applications.

Mobile users, however, need systems that are specifically tailored to their needs. The true mobile user requires hand-held and vehicle-mounted telephone devices with omnidirectional antennas that are easily portable and can provide instant access to a global communication system. Furthermore, telephone users desire and require "telephone quality" transmissions. These users do not want long propagation delays inherent in GEO systems that produce the echo effect and also use bulky, expensive, directional antennas which must point or must be pointed at a satellite.

Also, technical limitations of current GEO satellite systems severely limit the capacity of such systems to service mobile users. The scarce spectrum available for MSSs communications requires deployment of systems that will provide services to the users in a manner that maximizes the use of spectrum while encouraging a multiplicity of systems to share the spectrum. GEO systems, as presently configured with frequency division multiple access-frequency modulation (FDMA-FM), require inefficient band segmentation to share the spectrum.

Globalstar will provide capacity even when a satellite fails, due to the rotation of its LEO constellation. A GEO system, by contrast, would suffer an entire regional system outage if an operational satellite were to fail. Also, current and planned GEO systems cannot service the personal communications market due to the expense of supplying adequate satellite power and practical deployable antenna sizes.

Technology / Path Diversity
Path Diversity is a patented method of signal reception that permits the combining of multiple signals of varying power strengths into a single, coherent signal. Subscriber terminals will be able to operate with a single satellite in view, though typically two to four satellites will be overhead.

Subscriber terminals will communicate with as many as three satellites simultaneously and, utilizing a rake receiver, will combine those signals into a single, static free signal. Subscriber terminals will also alter their power levels to compensate for shadowing and interference as needed, with an average power output range of between 50-300 mw.

As satellites are constantly moving in and out of view, they will be seamlessly added to and removed from the calls in progress, thereby reducing the risk of call interruption. This will enable the Globalstar system to provide service to a wide variety of locations, with less potential for signal blockage from buildings, terrain or other natural features.

Technology / CDMA Technology
Globalstar utilizes a version of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology based upon the IS-95 CDMA standard to provide high quality, digitally crisp voice, data, and fax services. This standard utilizes digital transmission methods in which users share time and frequency allocations, and are assigned by unique assigned codes. The signals are separated at the receiver by using a correlator that accepts only signal energy from the desired circuit. Undesired signals are ignored as merely being noise. This technology allows a large number of wireless users simultaneously to access a single radio frequency channel orthogonally reducing interference, thereby resulting in a manyfold increase in capacity when compared to analog systems such as Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA).

The CDMA concept is analogous to the situation encountered at a party. At the "CDMA Cocktail Party," all subscribers are talking in the same room together simultaneously. This is analogous to the technique used in CDMA. Imagine that every conversation in the room is being carried out in a different language that you do not understand. They would all sound like noise from your perspective. If you "knew the code," the appropriate language, you could imagine filtering out the unwanted conversations and listening only to the conversation of interest to you. A CDMA system must filter the traffic in a similar way. Even with knowledge of the appropriate language, the conversation of interest may not be completely audible. The listener can tell the speaker to speak more loudly, and can also signal other people to speak more softly. A CDMA system uses a similar power control process.

Globalstar has adapted a combination of FDMA with CDMA and spread spectrum modulation that enables it to support multiple users simultaneously, and to share its allocated frequencies with other CDMA systems. Globalstar believes that CDMA, combined with the path diversity offered by multiple satellites, results in higher call quality and fewer dropped calls when handing off between satellites, while minimizing interference with other users sharing the same spectrum allocation.

Why Globalstar? 
When your business centers around remote worksites and working in remote areas beyond cellular and traditional landline service, reliable communications are vital to your success. Discover the advantages Globalstar products and services offer that can help improve your business efficiency and productivity.

With minutes starting as low as 14 cents Globalstar satellite service is affordable for any business operating in remote areas. Price plans start at $50

Clarity of Voice
CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology makes Globalstar calls exceptionally secure and clear, with high quality voice transmissions.

No Perceptible Voice Delay
Use of Low-Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites, moving at an altitude of 1,414 kilometers, helps virtually eliminate voice delay, compared to the noticeable time delay and echo effect of calls on geosynchronous satellites which orbit at much higher elevations.

The Globalstar system software resides on, and is monitored from the ground, for quick and economical system maintenance and upgrades.

Lighter, Three-in-one Handsets
The Globalstar GSP-1600 mobile phone is three phones in one with built-in technology to easily access 800 MHz analog cellular, digital CDMA cellular, as well as the Globalstar satellite system. Many accessories such as car and marine kits are available which greatly extend the phones capabilities and value.

Superior Data Speeds
Globalstar offers the fastest satellite data speeds of any handset in the industry allowing you to transfer your data quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions 
Globalstar is an innovative, dependable and affordable satellite-based telephone service that enables to have the power to communicate virtually anywhere, anytime. The Globalstar system provides affordable mobile satellite services, including basic voice telephony and 9.6KBps data communications. Globalstar also offers an array of enhanced telecommunications services, such as remote monitoring applications, pre-paid phone cards and text messaging.

When was Globalstar made available in North America?

Globalstar has been rolling out its services on a progressive basis since the fall of 1999. Globalstar introduced its commercial services in three phases: "Friendly Users" trials began in October 1999, introductory service to a preliminary number of customers was available in November 1999, and full commercial service was introduced across North America in February, 2000.

Who has subscribed to Globalstar services?

It is estimated that 50 per cent of the world has little or no phone service. The advent of affordable satellite telephony and other wireless services will change this, since it eliminates the need for costly landline or wireless network infrastructures.

Business, government, and even recreational users need the ability to communicate wherever they are located or travelling. With many regions not having existing landline or cellular coverage there is a distinct need for Globalstar with its reliable and high quality voice and data services. These users are from a variety of industries:

  • Companies in the natural resources business, specifically oil and gas, mining and forestry enterprises
  • Maritime industry, fishing boats, and recreational boaters
  • Transportation, such as railways and trucking
  • Cellular users who are looking to extend the range of their existing service
  • Various federal and provincial government agencies
  • Leisure businesses in remote areas and recreational enthusiasts who fish, hunt, snowmobile etc.
  • Recreational vehicles, cruise ships etc.
  • Global business travelers who travel to destinations where local telephone service is unreliable or expensive

Also, in rural or underserved areas where landline phone service doesn't exist or is of poor quality, Globalstar can provide voice and data service through it's fixed user terminals.

How much do Globalstar Phones and Services cost?

Globalstar's mobile unit, the GSP-1600, has an SRP of $749, by far the most competitively priced satellite phone in the market. Fixed units start from $999 for the FAU-200.

Airtime Rates
Globalstar offers the best-in-class satellite call rates in the US. North American calls can start as low as $0.14 per minute. Other price plans are available.

Do Globalstar satellite phones work just like cell phones?

Globalstar satellite phones offer many of the same characteristics as cellular phones, including a similar user interface and design. One of the main differences between satellite and cell phones is that the user must put up a larger satellite antenna in order to receive satellite signals. Globalstar features one of the smallest and lightest handsets in the satellite industry. Satellite phones are slightly larger in size than cellular phones because the antenna system required to communicate on the satellite frequencies must be larger than a cellular phone antenna. Another fundamental difference between traditional wireless phones and Globalstar satellite phones, is that when the phone is in satellite mode, as with all satellite mobile handheld phones, it must be within satellite line-of-sight in order to complete calls. Therefore the mobile handset cannot be used indoors. However, Globalstar phones will work indoors in cellular mode when the user is within a cellular-serviced area.

If satellite phone services are required indoors, Globalstar offers two options. The GSP-2900 fixed satellite phone and the FAU-200 fixed satellite phone. Either can be used indoors in satellite mode as they have external remote antennas to create line of sight with the Globalstar Satellite Network.

What are the differences between the FAU-200 and the GSP-2900 Fixed Satellite Phones?

The following chart outlines the differences between the FAU-200 and the GSP-2900 fixed satellite phones.

FAU 200
GSP 2900 Fixed Phone
High Quality Voice Transmissions
Dependable CDMA-Digital Serivce
Price Plans    
Timeline 30
Not Available
Timeline 80
Not Available
All other Price Plans
Enhanced Services    
Data Services
Voice Only
Call Forwarding Access
Not Available
Antenna Set-up    
Fixed omnidirectional
antennas, no aiming or
calibration required
Standard Telephone Equipment    
Works with standard
phone equipment ie:
cordless phones and
answering machines
Backup battery included
Not Included


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