Market Report - Globalstar: Third Party Business Opportunities & Strategies

Market Studies
1394 Market and Technology Study
Globalstar: Third Party Business Opportunities & Strategies

Published June,2001. 68 pages

Overview | Table Of Contents

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Despite the failure of its original strategy, Globalstar's CDMA-based satellite network performs superbly and is here to stay, creating major business opportunities for application developers, resellers, and others. That is one of the conclusions of the new 68-page report, Globalstar: Third Party Business Opportunities & Strategies.

"Globalstar makes new satellite applications both possible and affordable," said Sam Farrar, satellite industry veteran and principal author of the report. "In the current investment climate, several planned satellite networks will fail to obtain funding. These businesses, many possessing vertical market expertise, can succeed using Globalstar's network instead," he concluded.

"This report explains how the Globalstar network, along with a wide range of business partners, can achieve success," said Ira Brodsky, President of Datacomm Research. "But Globalstar must refocus on satellite-only products and services, forge alliances with key players in commercial markets, and combine dramatic price reductions with creative marketing programs," he added.

Globalstar: Third Party Business Opportunities & Strategies includes sections on how Globalstar's technology enables new applications and business models, the financial options for securing Globalstar's future, strategies for competing with other satellite operators, and a recommended seven-step program for strengthening Globalstar's near-term position.

Farrar & Associates has more than twenty years of experience in business planning for the satellite communications industry. More information is available from the firm's Web site at

Additional conclusions found in Globalstar: Third Party Business Opportunities & Strategies:

  • The Globalstar satellite network offers new levels of price/performance for a wide range of voice and data applications. Based on CDMA, the technology of choice for next-generation terrestrial wireless services, Globalstar can offer lower airtime rates and smaller, less expensive subscriber devices.
  • Despite huge debt and failure to meet subscriber acquisition targets, the Globalstar network is unlikely to be abandoned. In the worst case, Globalstar will follow the precedent set by Iridium and Orbcomm: bankruptcy protection followed by an asset auction. This will allow the highest bidder to obtain a multi-billion dollar satellite network at a fraction of its original cost.
  • Globalstar offers significant advantages over other satellite networks for both mobile and fixed applications. Due to its high capacity and low latency, Globalstar is ideal for a wide range of voice, Internet access, e-mail, and monitoring/control applications.
  • There is an opportunity to acquire several hundred thousand existing satellite subscribers. Globalstar should focus on taking market share away from Inmarsat, dominating Orbcomm's market segments, and migrating Qualcomm's OmniTRACS users to its network.
  • Globalstar should use dramatic reductions in airtime prices to load the system with as many users as possible as quickly as possible. Globalstar should position itself to compete with both existing satellite and terrestrial mobile phone networks in target markets.
  • Developers should focus on enterprise applications such as truck fleet management, remote monitoring and tracking, and Internet access and e-mail for airlines' business passengers.

Table of Contents

1 Executive Summary

2 Key Conclusions of This Report

  • 3 Globalstar's Technology as Business Enabler
  • 3.1 Globalstar Architecture
  • 3.2 Coverage
  • 3.3 Voice Services
  • 3.4 Voice Products
    • 3.4.1 Mobile
    • 3.4.2 Marine
    • 3.4.3 Fixed Phone
  • 3.5 Data Services
  • 3.6 Data Products
  • 3.7 In-Flight Network (IFN) – the Killer Opportunity?

4 Finances

  • 4.1 Globalstar’s Current Condition
  • 4.2 Primary Investor/Partner Condition
  • 4.3 Strategic Partners/Investors
  • 4.4 Pricing
  • 4.5 Ongoing Costs
  • 4.6 Revenues
  • 4.7 Service Provider Partners

5 Strategies/Markets – Current and Future

  • 5.1 Voice
    • 5.1.1 Mobile Enterprise
    • 5.1.2 Rural Areas and Developing Countries
    • 5.1.3 Consumer/Recreational5.2 Data
  • 5.2.1 Internet Access
    • 5.2.2 E-mail
    • 5.2.3 Packet Data
    • 5.3 Key Target Markets & Value-Added Resellers (VARs)
  • 5.3.1 Marine
    • 5.3.2 Natural Resources

6 Globalstar and the Competition

  • 6.1 Inmarsat
  • 6.2 Voice Pricing
  • 6.3 Iridium
  • 6.4 Orbcomm
  • 6.5 Motient/TMI/Norcom/Vistar
  • 6.6 Teledesic/ICO/Ellipso/Constellation
  • 6.7 Regional Systems - ACeS/Thuraya
  • 6.8 Special Markets – Aviation

7 Threats

  • 7.1 Funds Run Out
  • 7.2 Continued Slow Subscriber/Traffic Growth
  • 7.3 Delay in Packet Data Deployment
  • 7.4 Shareholder Lawsuits

8 The Future

  • 8.1 Bankruptcy – Follow Iridium, Orbcomm & ICO
  • 8.2 New Ownership
  • 8.3 Corporate Death
  • 8.4 Mid-Course Correction
    • 8.4.1 Service Pricing
    • 8.4.2 Phone Pricing
    • 8.4.3 Data Focus
    • 8.4.4 Inmarsat Attack Strategy
    • 8.4.5 Little LEO Initiative

9 Appendix A – Market Forecasts

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1 Globalstar Service Coverage - Early 2001
  • Figure 2 Globalstar Service Provider Coverage
  • Figure 3 Handheld Phone Specifications
  • Figure 4 Typical Globalstar Phone
  • Figure 5 Typical Antenna Extension
  • Figure 6 Globalstar Marine Antenna
  • Figure 7 Fixed Phone Specifications
  • Figure 8 Qualcomm EF-200
  • Figure 9 Early 2001 Data Service Coverage
  • Figure 10 Data Modems
  • Figure 11 Qualcomm Packet Data Modem
  • Figure 12 Migration of OmniTracs Users to Globalstar – An Assessment
  • Figure 13 Major VARs and Other Third Party Participants
  • Figure 14 Globalstar Phone Manufacturers
  • Figure 15 Potential for Partnering with Other Systems
  • Figure 16 Mobile Satellite Worldwide Unit Forecast 1998 - 2004
  • Figure 17 Mobile Satellite Revenue Forecasts 1999 - 2004