Australia’s regional, rural and remote communities from next year will have improved access to state-of-the-art mobile phone satellite technology, after leading US telecommunications firm Globalstar, Inc completed a financing deal of more than AU$912.58 million to fully fund the deployment of its new generation 2.0 satellite network, in association with Pivotel .
Marketed in Australia by Pivotel Group, Globalstar, Inc confirmed it had secured US$738 million (AU$912.58) in financing to fund its all IP based generation 2.0 network and ground facilities.
The financing will also help accelerate the delivery of additional second-generation spare satellites and provide further working capital to the company, in order to maintain its position as a leading world provider of mobile satellite voice and data services.
This announcement ensures Pivotel Globalstar customers across Australia – from the most remote mines and isolated farms– are given unprecedented access to the latest in mobile phone satellite, Internet and tracking technology. City based travellers journeying into regional Australia will also soon have access to a low latency, high speed mobile broadband service.
In addition to standard voice and high speed data, Globalstar expects its generation 2.0 service to include advanced wireless services and is evaluating such features as push to talk and multicasting, advanced messaging capabilities such as multimedia messaging or MMS, mobile video applications, geo-location services, multiband and multi-mode handsets, and data devices with GPS integration.
To support these new services Pivotel’s Globalstar ground infrastructure will need to be upgraded to support a full IP switching and backbone network. According to Mr Bolger a substantial multi-million dollar investment will be required to upgrade its three Australian gateways located in Dubbo, NSW, Mt Isa in QLD and Meekatharra in WA.
Pivotel’s Globalstar customers would be able to use their existing Globalstar handsets and maintain their mobile phone numbers, on the new generation 2.0 satellites, meaning that Pivotel has led the way in introducing affordable mobile satellite services in Australia and contrary to popular belief, satellite phone call costs were now comparable with regular mobile phone charges. Pivotel’s unique use of standard mobile phone numbers means the cost to call a Pivotel satellite phone is the same as calling any other mobile phone.
The technology has been made even more affordable with the Australian Government’s Satellite Phone Subsidy Scheme – which was recently extended until June 2013 –subsidising the cost of handsets by up to 85 per cent or $1,000, representing real savings and putting satellite phone access within reach of the average person.
Globalstar expects to begin taking delivery of the new satellites in 2009 and plans to complete launching of the new constellation in 2010..
Once complete, the future really is virtually unlimited for the new Globalstar generation 2.0 service. Globalstar can provide a high quality, high bandwidth, low latency broadband data service to remote homes and businesses anywhere across Australia, working with the Commonwealth Government to secure a role for Globalstar in the delivery of high speed data services as part of the new National Broadband Network.