Globalstar bet, & the South Atlantic Anomaly

Globalstar Bet

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.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

2 Responses

  1. richardstephens says:

    I used globalstar on a cruise to the Bahamas last month.
    Although the service was intermittent, I found it to be quite usable. I sometimes had to wait 10 to 20 minutes for a signal, then I would get a few minutes of usable service – enough for a quick phone call or sending/receiving email.
    I found XGate’s email client worked very well. It connects quickly, and I was able to send and receive emails with attachments of around 50k without any problems. I was able to keep my blog up to date (including photos), and I received GRIB files via email from
    While I would not recommend it for longer phone calls, or for extended web browsing, but I would say it works fine for email. You just need a little patience.

  2. Seajet says:

    I have used Globalstar for 6 years now and for the most part, I have always gotten a stable connection. I have a hard wired antenna pod mounted on the mizzen and that may help me greatly getting an immediate connection most of the time. The news about Globalstar concerns me. Then again, I use the service only for a few months every year and their unlimited minutes loyalty plan looks like a great deal.

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