Globalstar frequencies

Globalstar frequencies DEFAULT

Multiple access techniques and spectrum utilisation of the GLOBALSTAR mobile satellite system

Abstract: The GLOBALSTAR system is a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite-based mobile communications system that is interoperable with the current and future public land mobile network. The GLOBALSTAR system concept is based upon technological advancement in two key areas: LEO satellite technology; and cellular telephone technology, including the commercial applications of code division multiple access (CDMA) technologies, progress in time division multiple access technologies. The GLOBALSTAR system uses elements of CDMA technology, combining with satellite multiple beam antenna technology. The following techniques are exploited in obtaining high spectral efficiency and affordable cost per channel, with minimum coordination among different systems: power control in open and closed loops; voice activation; spot beam satellite antenna for frequency reuse; weighted satellite antenna gain; multiple satellite coverage; and satellite changeover. The GLOBALSTAR system design will use the frequency bands 1610-1626.5 MHz for the up-link and 2483.5-2500 MHz for the down-link.<

Published in: Fourth IEE Conference on Telecommunications 1993

Article #:

Date of Conference: 18-21 April 1993

Date Added to IEEE Xplore: 06 August 2002

ISBN Information:

Print ISBN: 0-85296-568-0

INSPEC Accession Number: 4427662


Persistent Link:
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Publisher: IET

Sours: /document/

Globalstar Canada Satellite Co.

Spectrum Licence

Our File: 46208-1 (383542 AL)

April 1, 2014

Mr. Stephen Drew
Director of Finance
Globalstar Canada Satellite Co.
115 Matheson Blvd. W, Suite 100
Mississauga, Ontario
L5R 3L1

Dear Mr. Drew:

This letter constitutes a spectrum licence granting Globalstar Canada Satellite Co. (Globalstar) authority to use the following bands of radio frequencies to provide mobile satellite services to Globalstar’s subscriber earth stations in Canada via the Globalstar constellation of satellites.

1610 - 1618.25 MHz2483.5 - 2500 MHz

This is an annual licence, subject to the conditions listed in the attachment. This licence expires on March 31st, 2015.

Yours sincerely,

Suzanne Lambert
Director, Space Services Operations


Globalstar Canada Satellite Co.
Conditions of Licence to Provide Mobile Satellite Services in Canada via the Globalstar Constellation of Satellites

1. Eligibility

Globalstar Canada Satellite Co. (Globalstar) must conform with the eligibility criteria as set out for a radiocommunication service provider in section 9 (1) of the Radiocommunication Regulations.

2. Licence Transferability

This spectrum licence may not be transferred or assigned without a full review of the application by the Department and authorization of the Minister. For clarification, and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, "transfer" includes any leasing, sub-leasing or other disposition of the rights and obligations of the licences.

3. Laws, Regulations and Other Obligations

  1. Globalstar is subject to and must comply with the ITU Radio Regulations, the Canadian Radiocommunication Act, Radiocommunication Regulations, and Canada’s spectrum policies pertaining to its authorized radio frequency bands and satellite orbital positions.
  2. The operation of the facilities and services being provided must be in conformity with relevant Canadian laws and regulations.
  3. Globalstar must make fair and reasonable efforts to promote Canadian manufacturers, designers, and suppliers of telecommunications components for use in the construction of the Globalstar network, and must make fair and reasonable efforts to promote the use of Canadian manufacturers in the provisioning of subscriber terminals.

4. Service to All Regions of Canada

Globalstar must make fair and reasonable efforts to provide mobile satellite service to all regions of Canada within the coverage contour and service availability of the Globalstar constellation of satellites.

5. Research and Development

Globalstar must invest, as a minimum, 2 percent of its adjusted gross revenues resulting from the use of this licence, averaged over the term of the licence, in eligible research and development activities related to telecommunications. Eligible research and development activities are those which meet the definition of scientific research and experimental development adopted in the Income Tax Act, as amended from time to time.

Adjusted gross revenues are defined as total service revenues, less inter-carrier payments, bad debts, third party commissions, and provincial goods and services taxes collected. Globalstar is exempt from research and development expenditure requirements if it, together with all affiliated licensees that are subject to the research and development condition of licence, has less than $1 billion in annual gross operating revenues from the provision of wireless services in Canada, averaged over the term of the licence. For this condition of licence, an affiliate is defined as a person who controls the carrier, or who is controlled by the carrier or by any person who controls the carrier, as per subsection 35(3) of the Telecommunications Act.

6. Lawful Interception

  1. Globalstar must provide and maintain lawful interception capabilities as authorized by law. The requirements for lawful interception capabilities are provided in the Solicitor General publication entitled Enforcement Standards for Lawful Interception of Telecommunications. These standards may be periodically amended following consultation with the Minister of Public Safety Canada and the licensees.
  2. Globalstar may request the Minister to forbear from enforcing certain assistance capability requirements for a limited period. The Minister, following consultation with the Minister of Public Safety Canada, may exercise his power to forbear from enforcing a requirement or requirements where in the opinion of the Minister, the requirement(s) is (are) not reasonably achievable. Forbearance requests must include specific details and dates when compliance to requirement(s) can be expected.

7. Subscriber Earth Stations

  1. Subscriber earth stations are authorized to operate in Canada only. Any roaming into other countries must respect the licensing regimes of those countries. To ensure compliance, Globalstar must provide its subscribers with a copy of this condition.
  2. Subscriber earth stations must meet the applicable Canadian radio equipment standards and be type-approved for use in Canada.
  3. The operation of subscriber earth stations must not cause harmful interference to the radio astronomy service operating in the same or adjacent frequency bands.
  4. Subscriber earth stations must comply with Health Canada’sLimits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz — Safety Code 6.

8. Operational Frequency Requirements

Service link operations will be restricted to the 1610-1618.25 MHz and 2483.5-2500 MHz frequency bands. Globalstar is required to share the use of this spectrum in Canada with any other party licensed by Industry Canada to use the same spectrum in the provision of mobile satellite services.

9. Annual Reports

Globalstar must submit an annual report for each year of operation, including:

  1. a statement indicating continued compliance with all licence conditions;
  2. an update on the provision of mobile satellite service, including the relative growth of the services provided; and
  3. an update on the spectrum used, and the number of fixed and mobile subscriber earth stations operating within Canada;
  4. a statement indicating the annual gross operating revenues from the provision of wireless services in Canada and the annual adjusted gross revenues resulting from the use of this licence, as defined in condition 5;
  5. when applicable, a report and the description of research and development expenditures as set out in condition 5, signed by a duly authorized officer of Globalstar. Industry Canada may request an audited statement of research and development expenditures with an accompanying auditor’s report at its discretion; and,
  6. if Globalstar is claiming an exemption based on, having less than $1 billion in annual gross operating revenues as defined in condition 5, Globalstar must provide supporting financial statements duly authorized by an officer of Globalstar.

All reports and statements must be submitted in electronic format by March 31st of each year to the Manager, Satellite Authorization Policy, Space Services, Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch at [email protected] Confidential information provided will be treated in accordance with subsection 20(1) of the Access to Information Act.

10. Licence Fees

Globalstar must pay the applicable annual authorization fees on or before March 31 of each year.

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Global satellite telecommunications company

Globalstar logo.png

Traded as

AMEX: GSAT (voting)
FoundedAs Globalstar LP March 24, 1991; as Globalstar, LLC in 2003; as Globalstar, Inc. in 2006

Covington, Louisiana



ProductsSatellite phones, satellite data modems, SPOT Satellite Messenger(TM)
ServicesSatellite communication, Asset tracking
ParentGlobalstar Inc.
SubsidiariesSpot LLC

Globalstar, Inc. is an American satellite communications company that operates a low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation for satellite phone and low-speed data communications, somewhat similar to the Iridium satellite constellation and Orbcomm satellite systems. The Globalstar second-generation constellation consists of 24 low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites.[1]


The Globalstar project was launched in 1991 as a joint venture of Loral Corporation and Qualcomm. On March 24, 1994, the two sponsors announced formation of Globalstar LP, a limited partnership established in the U.S., with financial participation from eight other companies, including Alcatel, AirTouch, Deutsche Aerospace, Hyundai and Vodafone. At that time, the company predicted the system would launch in 1998, based on an investment of $1.8 billion.

Globalstar received its US spectrum allocation from the FCC in January 1995, and continued to negotiate with other nations for rights to use the same radio frequencies in their countries.

The first satellites were launched in February 1998, but system deployment was delayed due to a launch failure in September 1998 that resulted in the loss of 12 satellites in a launch by the Russian Space Agency. In February 2000, it launched the last of 52 satellites—48 satellites and four in-orbit spares. Another eight unlaunched satellites were maintained as ground spares.

The first call on the original Globalstar system was placed on November 1, 1998, from Qualcomm chairman Irwin Jacobs in San Diego to Loral Space & Communications CEO and chairman Bernard Schwartz in New York City.

In October 1999, the system began "friendly user" trials with 44 of 48 planned satellites. In December 1999, the system began limited commercial service for 200 users with the full 48 satellites (no spares in orbit). In February 2000, it began full commercial service with its 48 satellites and 4 spares in North America, Europe and Brazil. Initial prices were $1.79/minute.

On February 15, 2002, the predecessor company Globalstar (old Globalstar) and three of its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.

In 2004, restructuring of the old Globalstar was completed. The first stage of the restructuring was completed on December 5, 2003, when Thermo Capital Partners LLC was deemed to obtain operational control of the business, as well as certain ownership rights and risks. Thermo Capital Partners, became the principal owner.

Globalstar LLC was formed as a Delaware limited liability company in November 2003, and was converted into Globalstar, Inc., on March 17, 2006.

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.[2]

In April 2018, Globalstar announced it would merge with FiberLight in a deal valued at $1.65 billion.[3] That deal was called off in August 2018 following a lawsuit from Globalstar's largest investor, Mudrick Capital Management.[4]

In March 2020, Globalstar announced that the Third Generation Partnership Project ("3GPP") had approved the 5G variant of Globalstar's Band 53, to become known as n53.[5]

On March 6, 2021, Globalstar announced to customers that the Sat-Fi2 (Satellite Wifi Hotspot) and Sat-Fi2 RAS (Remote Antenna Station) services would be discontinued as of March 12, 2021.

Products and services[edit]

Globalstar is a provider of mobile satellite voice and data services. Globalstar offers these services to commercial and recreational users in more than 120 countries around the world.

The company's products include mobile and fixed satellite telephones, simplex and duplex satellite data modems and satellite airtime packages.

In late 2007, Globalstar subsidiary SPOT LLC launched a handheld satellite messaging and tracking personal safety device known as the SPOT Satellite Messenger.

Many land based and maritime industries make use of the various Globalstar products and services from remote areas beyond the reach of cellular and landline telephone service.

Global customer segments include: oil and gas, government, mining, forestry, commercial fishing, utilities, military, transportation, heavy construction, emergency preparedness, and business continuity as well as individual recreational users.

Globalstar data communication services are used for a variety of asset and personal tracking, data monitoring and "Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition" or SCADA applications.

GLOB17 GSP1600 product.jpg

Portable telephones[edit]

  • Globalstar GSP-1600
  • Globalstar GSP-1700 (current)

Simplex data modems[edit]

  • Globalstar STX-2
  • Globalstar STX3
  • Globalstar ST100
  • Globalstar SmartOne C
  • Globalstar SmartOne Solar

Duplex data modems[edit]

  • SPOT X
  • SPOT X with Bluetooth

Duplex voice/data modules[edit]


Discontinued Products and Services[edit]

System architecture[edit]


Globalstar satellites are simple "bent pipe" analog repeaters,[6] unlike Iridium.[7]

A network of ground gateway stations provides connectivity from the 40 satellites to the public switched telephone network and Internet. A satellite must have a Gateway station in view to provide service to any users it may see. Twenty Four Globalstar Gateways are located around the world, including 7 in North America.[8] Globalstar Gateways are the largest cellular base stations in the world with a design capacity for over 10,000 concurrent phone calls over a coverage area that is roughly 50% of the size of the USA. Globalstar supports CDMA technology such as the rake receiver and soft handoffs, so a handset may be talking via two spot beams to two Gateways for path diversity.

Globalstar users are assigned telephone numbers on the North American Numbering Plan in North America or the appropriate telephone numbering plan for the country that the overseas gateway is located in, except for Brazil, where the official Globalstar country code (+8818) is used. The use of gateway ground stations provides customers with localized regional phone numbers for their satellite handsets. But if there are no gateway stations to cover certain remote areas (such as areas of the South Pacific and the polar regions), service cannot be provided in these remote areas, even if the satellites may fly over them. As of May 2012, voice and full-duplex data service is currently non-functional over much of Africa, the South Asian subcontinent and most mid-ocean regions due to lack of nearby gateway earth stations.[9]

The Globalstar system uses the Qualcomm CDMA air interface; however, the Ericsson and Telit phones accept standard GSMSIM cards, while the Qualcomm GSP-1600/1700 phones do not have a SIM card interface, but use CDMA/IS-41 based authentication. Therefore, the Globalstar gateways need to support both the CDMA/IS-41 and the GSM standards.

Globalstar has roaming agreements with local cellular operators in some regions, enabling the use of a single phone number in satellite and cellular mode on multi-mode Globalstar handsets.[10] These cellular roaming agreements are not in place in North America. Because of improvements in cellular phones and networks and the limitations inherent to satellite phones, the newest Globalstar handset (released in 2006) does not include cellular connectivity as Globalstar does not expect subscribers to carry it as their only mobile phone.[11]

First Generation Satellites[edit]

Globalstar orbits have an inclination of 52 degrees. Therefore, Globalstar does not cover polar areas, due to the lower orbital inclination.

Globalstar orbits have an orbital height of approximately 1400 km and latency is still relatively low (approximately 60ms).

A Globalstar satellite has two body-mounted, Earth-facing arrays. First-generation Globalstars weigh approximately 550 kg. However, the second-generation Globalstar design will gain significant mass.

In 2005, some of the satellites began to reach the limit of their operational lifetime of 7.5 years. In December 2005, Globalstar began to move some of its satellites into a graveyard orbit above LEO.[12]

First-generation satellite problems[edit]

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 higher rate than expected, possibly eventually leading to reduced levels of two-way voice and duplex data service in 2008. The company's simplex data services used to support the asset tracking products as well as the SPOT Satellite Messenger are not affected by the S-band satellite issue mentioned above. Globalstar also launched eight ground spare satellites in 2007 to help reduce the impact of the issue.

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.


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.[14]

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.[13]

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.[13]

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.[13]

Globalstar's interim solution to premature first-generation satellite problems[edit]

In 2007, Globalstar launched eight spare satellites for its existing constellation with a view to reducing the gaps in its two-way voice and data services pending commercial availability of its second-generation satellite constellation, scheduled for initial launch in the second half of 2009. Globalstar will continue to operate its existing satellite constellation to provide and support services until the second-generation Globalstar satellites are available for service.

Until the new second-generation Globalstar satellite constellation is operational, Globalstar is offering its Optimum Satellite Availability Tool (OSAT) on its Internet site, which subscribers may use to predict when one or more unaffected satellites will be overhead at any specific geographic location.

To help customers deal with the S-band communication issues, Globalstar has provided a call times tool which calculates optimum calling times for a given location.

Second-generation satellites[edit]

In December 2006, Globalstar announced that Alcatel Alenia Space, now Thales Alenia Space in its Cannes headquarters, has been awarded a €661 million contract for the second-generation constellation. The satellites were designed with a life expectancy of 15 years, significantly longer than the design life of Globalstar's first-generation constellation. The second generation constellation will consist of 24 satellites.[1]

In addition, Globalstar announced on April 3, 2007 that it has signed a €9 million agreement with Thales Alenia Space to upgrade the Globalstar satellite constellation, including necessary hardware and software upgrades to Globalstar's satellite control network facilities.[15]

In August 2008, Thales Alenia Space began production assembly, integration and testing of the second-generation flight model satellites, in its Rome factory, for launch as early as Q3 2009.[16]

In July 2009, Globalstar, Inc. announced that it has received complete financing for its second-generation satellite constellation and signed an amendment to the initial contract, specifying in particular the adjusted conditions for production and the new satellite delivery timetable.[17]

The first six second-generation satellites were launched on October 19, 2010, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.[18][19] The launch used a Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with a Fregat upper stage.[20] These second-generation satellites are expected to provide Globalstar customers with satellite voice and data services until at least 2025. Six more second-generation satellites were launched in July 2011[21] followed by another six satellites in December 2011.[22] As of July 16, 2012, 18 of 24 new satellites had been launched.[23] Launch of the second generation constellation was completed February 6, 2013, with the launch of the final six satellites using a Soyuz 2-1a launch vehicle.[24] The 24 second-generation spacecraft weighed approximately 700 kg (1,500 lb) each at launch, and are 3-axis stabilized.[25]

Business operations[edit]

Corporate structure and financing[edit]

Predecessor Company - Globalstar LP. In February 1995, Globalstar Telecommunications Ltd. raised $200 million from its initial public offering in the NASDAQ market. The IPO price of $20 per share was equivalent to $5 per share after two stock splits. The stock price peaked at (post split) $50 per share in January 2000, but institutional investors began predicting bankruptcy as early as June 2000. The stock price eventually fell below $1 per share, and the stock was delisted by NASDAQ in June 2001.

After the IPO, the publicly traded Globalstar Telecommunications (NASDAQ symbol GSTRF) owned part of system operator Globalstar LP. From that point on, the primary financing for Globalstar LP was vendor financing from its suppliers (including Loral and Qualcomm), supplemented by junk bonds.

After a total debt and equity investment of $4.3 billion, on February 15, 2002, Globalstar Telecommunications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, listing assets of $570 million and liabilities of $3.3 billion. The assets were later bought for $43 million by Thermo Capital Partners LLC.

Globalstar LLC and Globalstar, Inc. When the new Globalstar emerged from bankruptcy in April 2004, it was owned by Thermo Capital Partners (81.25%) and the original creditors of Globalstar L.P. (18.75%). Globalstar LLC was incorporated in April 2006 to become Globalstar, Inc.

Globalstar, Inc. completed an IPO in November 2006. The stock currently trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol GSAT.

SPOT LLC[edit]

In August 2007, Globalstar announced the introduction of the SPOT Satellite Messenger product, to be marketed through its latest subsidiary SPOT, Inc., later named SPOT LLC. The SPOT Messenger is manufactured by Globalstar partner Axonn LLC and combines the company's simplex data technology with a Nemerix GPS chipset. SPOT is intended to leverage Globalstar's still adequate L-Band uplink, which is used by simplex modems. The product was launched early November 2007. Subsequent launches included the SPOT Trace, SPOT X with Bluetooth and Gen4.


The first five employees of Globalstar were transferred from the founding companies in 1991. Although few figures were publicly disclosed, the company apparently reached a peak of about 350 employees until layoffs in March 2001. However, this figure was misleading, as most of the development, operations and sales employees were employed by the company's strategic partners.[citation needed]

Loral's chairman Bernard Schwartz served as Globalstar's chairman and CEO until May 2001.

The company then appointed satellite telecommunications veteran Olof Lundberg to lead a turnaround at the company to serve as chairman and CEO. After beginning his career with Swedish Telecom, Lundberg had been founding Director General (later CEO) of Inmarsat from 1979 to 1995. He served as founding CEO and later CEO and Chairman ICO Global Communications from 1995 to 1999.

Lundberg resigned from the company (then in bankruptcy) on June 30, 2003.

David Kagan serves as the current CEO of Globalstar Inc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ab"Second-Generation Satellite Constellation". Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  2. ^"Globalstar Hits Milestone Exceeding 100 Jobs After Moving From Silicon Valley to Covington". Silicon Bayou News. 9 August 2011.
  3. ^"Globalstar to merge with FiberLight in $1.65 billion deal". Reuters. 2018-04-25. Retrieved 2018-04-25.
  4. ^"Globalstar's $1.65B merger terminated". New Orleans City Business. August 3, 2018. Retrieved April 14, 2021.
  5. ^"Globalstar Announces 3GPP Approval of Band 53 as a 5G Band".
  6. ^"New satellites to revolutionise communications". BBC News. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  7. ^Tanenbaum, Andrew S.; Wetherall, David J. (23 July 2013). Computer Networks(PDF). Pearson Education. ISBN . Archived from the original(PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2015. Chapter 2.4.3 "Low-earth orbit satellites".
  8. ^"".
  9. ^"Coverage Map - Voice/Duplex".
  10. ^Reily Gregson (30 November 1999). "Globalstar roaming offered in 30 countries". RCR Wireless News.
  11. ^
  12. ^ODQN 10-1.inddArchived 2006-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ abcd
  14. ^"Space Intelligence News"(PDF). Ascend. March 2007. Archived from the original(PDF) on 2007-02-14.
  15. ^Globalstar press releaseArchived 2007-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^"Globalstar begins production assembly and testing of new second-generation satellites". Globalstar. August 27, 2008. Archived from the original on February 16, 2009.
  17. ^"Thales Alenia Space welcomes Globalstar funding news ensuring second-generation constellation production". Thales Alenis Space. July 6, 2009. Archived from the original on February 24, 2012.
  18. ^"Arianespace.TV > Livestream video coverage". Archived from the original on 2010-10-04.
  19. ^"Press Releases".
  20. ^"Globalstar Launch Campaign Continues at Baikonur". Roscosmos. 2010-09-28. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20.
  21. ^"Soyuz Rocket Launch Beefs Up Globalstar Satellite Fleet". 16 July 2011.
  22. ^"Press Releases".
  23. ^"Press Releases".
  24. ^Clark, Stephen (February 6, 2013). "Six new Globalstar satellites ride Soyuz rocket to orbit". Spaceflight Now.
  25. ^"Arianespace/Starsem completes the deployment of Globalstar's constellation with a Soyuz mission from Baikonur Cosmodrome". Arianespace. February 6, 2013.

External links[edit]

Official website


Case Globalstar: 6 ways to leverage their spectrum asset

In our industry, most people would agree that spectrum is a hot topic – it’s the most valuable resource for a wireless company. But it’s become a crucial issue because, as we all know, spectrum is finite. Wireless operators must deploy this resource in ways that not only provide coverage wherever a user might want to consume bandwidth, but also provide needed capacity for a good customer experience. This coverage and capacity dynamic has driven substantial developments in the wireless ecosystem over the past few years, especially at Nokia.

It’s clear up here for Globalstar spectrum

Nokia customer Globalstar Inc., a U.S. based provider of mobile satellite voice and data services, is in the enviable position of having 2.4 GHz spectrum that works everywhere, meaning it has been globally allocated. 2.4 GHz spectrum is in the sweet spot from a physics perspective because it’s good for both coverage and capacity. Although it’s not yet a 3GPP standardized spectrum band, it has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission and recently in other countries. It’s remarkably clean meaning it’s clear, has no co-channel interference and provides network benefits for both indoor and outdoor deployments.

Globalstar turned to Nokia to help determine the band characteristics for its available spectrum and identify potential application options. Nokia’s Network Planning and Optimization (NPO) team conducted a small cell network study of Globalstar’s 2.4 GHz spectrum as compared to a similar HetNet network in 2.1 GHz. The study proved the versatility of Globalstar’s spectrum, showing that operators with a small cell network could benefit from Globalstar’s clean spectrum, while those without small cell networks could benefit from its huge capacity.

In our study, Globalstar’s spectrum outperformed outdoor small cell deployments by 20%, while requiring 33% less infrastructure. For indoors in an urban office environment, we were able to deploy approximately half the access points required since the band has no interference from macro towers operating in the same frequency. The full report can be seen here. The team went a step further to also provide six business model options for Globalstar to consider.

“We were excited to work with Nokia’s NPO experts to help determine how to best monetize and maximize the use cases of our spectrum asset so we can deliver the highest quality experience to the end users,” said Jay Monroe, chairman and CEO of Globalstar.

6 ways to monetize & maximize the spectrum

  1. Lease the spectrum to incumbent operators – This provides extra capacity for operators and uses their own RAN equipment and services. Operators can use clean spectrum without incumbrance and it supports standard capabilities like Carrier Aggregation, roaming and redirection. For Globalstar, this is a simple revenue model without any operational burdens.
  2. Dedicated in-building small cell spectrum – The analysis clearly shows the difficulties presented by macro interference to small cell deployments. Offering a dedicated, clean spectrum band would dramatically improve the performance of these HetNets and significantly reduce the cost to deploy them. Globalstar could lease the spectrum to one carrier nationwide or carriers in geographic regions that wanted to reduce the strain on their expensive macro tower infrastructure.
  3. Use the spectrum as a satellite service enhancement – By deploying RANs in Globalstar’s high use areas, such as air terminals, shipping ports, military bases or cargo handling facilities, Globalstar can both provide satellite offload and support high data rates and advanced applications. Enhanced services are provided to customers where they normally congregate, and for these customers there is a layer of satellite redundancy in the event of disruptions in terrestrial networks.
  4. Lease spectrum for private LTE systems to non-carriers – Cable companies are increasingly interested in pursuing wireless services themselves. Globalstar’s spectrum provides an opportunity to add a private LTE network on top of their dense cable plant. Alternatively, as the in-building networks are further developed there may be an opportunity to include Globalstar’s band as a private LTE service on top of neutral host models.
  5. Directly provide private services to enterprises – By offering private LTE systems directly to enterprises, Globalstar provides spectrum, equipment and services to end user customers, which provides direct control over the user experience and maximizes private LTE system revenue opportunities. These deployments of Globalstar’s spectrum could be done while several of these other options are pursued simultaneously.
  6. Mass market product enablement licensing – Globalstar could license spectrum to ODM manufacturers for use in mass market. This would include unrestricted use and products distributed globally. This option could address the Internet of Things or Connected Car markets.

No matter what Globalstar decides to do, Nokia will be there to partner with them – in the U.S. and around the world. We are also lending our support to the 3GPP standardization process and equipment manufacturing enablement, which are critical for the spectrum’s success.

Download the executive summary here: Globalstar: 2.4 GHz Spectrum Leasing For Small Cell Deployments

Visit our webpage to read more about our NPO services.

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks using #spectrum #5G #LTE #3GPP #services


Frequencies globalstar

Globalstar's parent company slowly stirs 5G assets

For nearly 20 years, Thermo Companies has been quietly making investments in the telecom space by mixing together a blend of 5G assets that includes midband spectrum holdings, fiber transport and technologies related to spectrum efficiency.

However, it's unclear what the investment firm's end goal is. "These investments don't work together like a perfect puzzle at this point. We are trying to get them to be, but we aren't there yet," said Kyle Pickens, VP of strategy at Globalstar and a partner at Thermo Companies.

Globalstar ties

Thermo is probably best known for its majority ownership of Globalstar. In 2004, the company, which was founded by Jim Lynch and Jay Monroe, invested $700 million in the bankrupt satellite company, not just because it saw potential in the satellite services but also because of Globalstar's spectrum assets. "We thought there was value in the terrestrial spectrum," said Pickens.

But it's taken Thermo (and Globalstar) a long time to actually gain some traction with that terrestrial spectrum. Globalstar first tried to get authority to use its satellite spectrum holdings for terrestrial low power service (TLPS) to boost Wi-Fi networks. After a lot of wrangling with the FCC and Wi-Fi players that opposed the initiative, Globalstar's proposal withered away without support.

Next Thermo turned its attention to getting approval for Globalstar's S-band spectrum, which is Band 53 in the 2.4GHz spectrum range, to be approved for use as an anchor channel for carrier aggregation and licensed assisted access (LAA) in cellular networks. The FCC approved this request in 2017 and also said that Band 53 could be integrated into user equipment. Band 53 offers 11.5MHz of nationwide spectrum within the 2.4GHz band.

Band 53 momentum

Four years later and Band 53 is starting to gain some momentum. Perhaps the biggest endorsement so far occurred last month when Qualcomm announced that its new 5G X65 modem will support Band 53. That announcement means that Band 53 will be incorporated into devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, as well as IoT modules, that use Qualcomm silicon. The development creates an "opportunity for Globalstar's spectrum in a way that governments cannot, by making it part of a broader, international ecosystem of devices, operating systems and applications," according to the financial analysts at New Street Research.

Qualcomm's announcement follows an alliance that Globalstar formed with Nokia in 2020 to use Band 53 for 4G and 5G private network deployments. In January, Nokia announced that it was using Band 53 spectrum at the Port of Seattle for a private wireless network.

In addition, Globalstar also is working with the New York Power Authority on a trial of Band 53 for a private wireless network.

But perhaps the most intriguing partnership Globalstar has announced so far is its alliance with Xcom, which is the San Diego-based startup created by several former top executives at Qualcomm, including former Chairman and CEO Paul Jacobs. Xcom has been particularly cagey about what exactly it is developing; however, an FCC filing last November provided some details about Xcom's efforts to test advanced MIMO technologies running on open RAN interfaces in an indoor arena. Matt Grob, Xcom's CTO and the former CTO of Qualcomm, told Light Reading in November that the company has developed a technology that will significantly improve the spectral efficiency of systems that use sub-6GHz spectrum.

Globalstar said it is working with Xcom to explore ways it can boost capacity in Band 53, particularly in areas where there could be a lot of traffic such as arenas, airports and multi-tenant buildings. And not only is Thermo working with Xcom on Band 53 capacity, it is also an investor. Pickens said Thermo participated in Xcom's Series A round of funding.

But there's more. Thermo is also an investor in Pivotal Commware, the millimeter-wave (mmWave) startup that is also backed by Bill Gates. Pickens is a member of Pivotal's board.

Pivotal uses holographic beamforming (HBF) to address shortfalls in existing beamforming technology by using software-enabled antennas to narrow the beams so they have better propagation. This also creates less interference. And because the beams are so precisely pinpointed, the spectrum can be reused, making it more efficient.

Pivotal has been working closely with Verizon, which is aggressively deploying 5G using mmWave spectrum, but it's also eying other spectrum bands. Pivotal CEO Brian Deutsch said in a press release that the company plans to expand beyond mmWave spectrum and to other bands, including Band 53 and the C-band.

But Pickens says that Globalstar isn't just looking at the potential for Band 53 in the US. The company also sees it being a valuable asset in other countries as well. Late last year Globalstar received terrestrial authorization to operate in three countries – Canada, Brazil and Kenya – which the company says represents a covered population of 300 million people. The development raises the company's total terrestrial coverage area to roughly 700 million people.

"We have claim to the spectrum around the world because satellite devices use it," Pickens said, adding that the company could potentially license Band 53 with a carrier in another country or work with different types of companies around the world.

Despite all the emphasis on terrestrial licenses, Pickens maintains that Globalstar is committed to operating its satellite business and is making progress marketing the service as an IoT solution.

More than wireless

Thermo's reach expands beyond the wireless realm too. Another early Thermo investment was e.Spire, which the company then reorganized into Xspedius, which was then sold to Time Warner Telecom in exchange for Time Warner Telecom stock.

That Time Warner Telecom stock eventually became Level 3 stock when Level 3 purchased Time Warner Telecom in 2014 and then morphed into CenturyLink stock after CenturyLink purchased Level 3 in 2017. CenturyLink rebranded earlier this year and is now known as Lumen. Thermo is one of the 10 largest shareholders in Lumen, which is in the process of transforming itself from an old-school telco into a fiber powerhouse. At the end of 2020, Lumen had a fiber footprint of 2.4 million homes passed.

Thermo also owns FiberLight, which it purchased in 2003 when it was operating under the name of ACSI Network Technologies. FiberLight provides high-capacity transport services to companies via its miles of fiber that stretch across much of Texas and parts of Washington, D.C. and Virginia.

The company, which just won $1.8 million in the FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, now plans to construct a wireless network using 5G and open RAN technologies to deliver broadband services to the underserved.

What's next?

Pickens says that all of Thermos' investments over the years are all meant to enhance or maximize the Globalstar investment, and he insists that Globalstar is happy being just a spectrum provider and is not trying to be anything more than that. "We keep investing and development but we don't want to build a network," he said.

— Sue Marek, special to Light Reading. Follow her @suemarek.


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