|GG is wrong about the Dis-use theory. In fact, the way Globalstar can maximize profits is to maximize use of the system. It should be used at full capacity non-stop. That way maximum benefits are transferred to subscribers. Subscribers derive zero benefit if they don't use the system, even if only once every decade.|
It saves Globalstar no money at all if the satellites circle without being used.
The way to maximize use of the system, benefits to subscribers and profits to Globalstar, is to sell the available capacity to the highest bidders. If the capacity is worth only 0.1c per megabyte at present, then it should be sold at that price. That will encourage rapid sales of devices to use those megabytes and rapidly increase use so that the price will increase to a sustainable level, keeping the system full at all times.
There was some debate 13 years ago about whether unused megabytes could be carried from low-priced places to higher priced places later in the orbit. "Readware" argued one way, the Globalstar employee I dealt with argued another way. It's obvious that there is some limitation and it is unlikely to be simply the number of circuits in the satellites.
The limitations are the amount of electricity the photovoltaics can generate, the battery capacity, the cooling rate of the satellites, and the number of circuits.
The individual satellites vary in their orbits from summer to winter. Sometimes, satellites are nearly always in full sun shine [when the orbit is facing the sun]. Sometimes they are half night, half day [when the orbit is edge on to the sun]. When in darkness, the satellites have to operate by battery. The satellites can cool down when in darkness. When front on to the sun, the satellites will have more light on the photovoltaics, but will not be able to cool as well, the batteries will not be needed much.
We never did get information on what were the limiting factors. We still don't know.
Yes, they should have price elasticity curves for various gateways, but I bet they don't have one. If they were up on that sort of thinking, they wouldn't be pushing ARPU plans.
While "$500 isn't much these days", part of the problem is psychological - it's a pain the neck to have another monthly "plan" to deal with and one day try to stop. It's like having a biting insect sitting there sucking some blood. Totally irrelevant really, but so annoying. Most people have enough plans, subscriptions, monthly outgoings, and biting insects without adding more.
If I could buy a credit for $10 to use some megabytes with my Globalstar phone, I'd do it. But I can't so they get no money and I get no benefit. I find with such prepay plans that I'm pretty soon using it and buying more credit. I don't feel robbed at all. If I go away for a few months and don't use the credit, I'm not paying anything, I don't have to cancel the service or pay to restart it. I keep my credit for when I do come back and use some more.
I can afford to have all sorts of plans for all sorts of things but I don't because the hassle factor and financial insult exceed the likely use. That includes Globalstar.