The Globalstar system is designed to provide high quality satellite-based telephony services to a broad range of users. Globalstar meets the needs of cellular users who roam outside of coverage areas and people who work in remote areas where terrestrial systems do not exist. Residents of under-served markets can use Globalstar fixed-site phones to satisfy their needs for basic telephony while travelers can have reliable communications.
Globalstar phones look and act like mobile or fixed phones with which you're familiar. The difference is that Globalstar extends your coverage area beyond existing phone networks, carrying your call over an exceptionally clear, secure Code Divisional Multiple Access (CDMA) satellite signal.
Like "bent-pipes", or mirrors in the sky, the Globalstar constellation of 48 Low-Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellites picks up signals from over 80% of the Earth's surface, (excepting the extreme Polar Regions and some mid-ocean regions). Several satellites pick up a call, and this "path diversity" reduces the possibility of blocked or dropped calls. If buildings or terrain obstruct the phone's line-of-sight to a satellite, a "soft hand-off" takes place switching the call to an alternate satellite with no interruption. This satellite now continues transmission of the original signal to one of several terrestrial "gateways".
With Globalstar, you'll have the additional advantages of using low-earth orbiting satellites with no perceptible voice delay and lighter/smaller all-in-one handsets.
Gateways process calls, then distribute them to existing fixed and cellular local networks. Terrestrial gateways are an important part of Globalstar's strategy to keep key technology and equipment easily accessible and to integrate our services as closely as possible with existing local telephony networks. This design makes the Globalstar system and its services simple to manage, expand and improve.