Globalstar bet, & the South Atlantic Anomaly
A Panbo reader (thanks, Jon!) points out that Globalstar now has a enticing four year contract featuring unlimited airtime “for calls placed from the Home Service Area of the US, Canada or Caribbean,” including long distance in North America, and free “Express Data Compression”. Of course the rub is the degrading amplifier issue discussed here in February. Globalstar’s contract page is pretty frank about possible “significant gaps in satellite availability” before they get their new satellites up (and you get the deal’s cherry-on-top, great unlimited service for 19.99/month). But a reasonable-sounding Wikipedia entry goes a bit further, suggesting a possible “total loss of service in 2008.” That’s also where I learned about the South Atlantic Anomaly, a dimple in the van Allen radiation belt that may have toasted those amps.