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 Technology Stocks | CDMA, Globalstar versus Iridium, Inmarsat, etc.


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To: Maurice Winn who wrote (358)12/31/2003 10:50:00 PM
From: Ilaine
   of 381
 
Happy New Year, Mq! How is life in the sat phone biz these days?

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To: Ilaine who wrote (361)1/4/2004 5:48:55 AM
From: Maurice Winn
   of 381
 
Hi CB, Globalstar and Iridium are both still in business. You can buy Globalstar here globalstarusa.com and you'll find some excellent deals since they stopped the crown-jewels approach which destroyed $10 billion in capital.

Unfortunately, like the Titanic, Globalstar was all very impressive, but lacked a little bit of attention to detail in the maiden voyage. Hubris did it in. Hubris, greed, foolishness, ignorance and hearing impairment.

Which is not to say there's anything wrong with CDMA satphones or cyberspace. It's not a technological window of opportunity which has closed. If anything, the demand for ubiquitous coverage is greater now than 5 years ago and the technological ability to deliver it in an economic and attractive package is far greater.

The old handsets with minimal battery life could be updated to include radioOne, newer CDMA technology, zoomier, smaller and more efficient ASICs with all sorts of tricks.

Most pioneering efforts end with mortality. That's the risk we adventurers take. Philanthropic investing takes courage or at least the ability to sustain the loss if it occurs. It's good to try. Somebody else will do it one of these days and do it right. They'll use what went before and advance on it.

So, life in the satphone business is great thanks, just not profitable in the current form. Never a dull moment.

Happy New Year.

Mqurice

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To: Maurice Winn who wrote (362)5/14/2004 5:35:49 PM
From: Carolyn
   of 381
 
I am interested in renting a satellite telephone for a couple of weeks in June and again in September for use in Canada and Alaska. From research, it seems an Iridium phone is the way to go; specifically the 9505 with its longer battery life. Is this correct? Or am I all twisted? I have no experience with these.

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To: Carolyn who wrote (363)5/30/2004 8:38:46 PM
From: verdad
   of 381
 
Hi Carolyn -

Keep in mind that Globalstar will only provide coverage 24 hours a day up to 66 1/2 degrees North & South lattitude. Further north or south (closer to the poles), it will only provide service for a fraction of the day when a satellite may come into view for a short period of time (simply due to the curvature of the earth and the orbits of the satellites within the Globalstar constellation which was really designed to provide maximum coverage closer to the Tropics of Cancer, Capricorn and over the equator--essentially, where populations are more dense). So, in some respects, your initial intuition is probably correct--if you're further north (above 66 1/2 degrees), you'll be better off with Iridium. Having said all that, Globalstar should provide good coverage for most of Canada--except any portion that is above 66 1/2 degrees north lattitude--I haven't looked on a map recently, so I don't know if this applies to parts of Canada as well as Alaska (66 1/2 degrees N. lattitude is pretty far north). Another thing to keep in mind is that Globalstar will typically only provide ocean coverage for approximately 200nm from major land masses.

I'm not sure where you'd rent from...

globalstarusa.com
(when you click on this page at the Globalstar website, it says 'page does not exist')

Here's a distributor that carries both models for purchase...

georgesme.com

I'm guessing the high price commanded for the Iridium phone is due to its truly global coverage compared to Globalstar's superior voice quality, but less ubiquitous coverage (as noted above) that is dependent upon locations of actual ground based gateways & orbit path of the constellation. Globalstar has coverage maps at their website:

globalstarusa.com

Hope this helps!

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To: verdad who wrote (364)5/30/2004 9:04:45 PM
From: Carolyn
   of 381
 
I never knew that about 66 1/2 degrees. Thank you!

Fairbanks is about 64 degrees, according to a globe I have here and I am going southwest of there, so should be safe.

I rented an Iridium phone - price is the same as Globalstar. These are the folks from whom I rented:

satellitediscountstore.com

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To: verdad who wrote (364)6/2/2004 10:45:43 AM
From: ebg51
   of 381
 
Regarding Canada - most of the population lives no more than 50 miles from the American border

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To: verdad who wrote (364)6/2/2004 2:27:23 PM
From: Carolyn
   of 381
 
The phone arrived today, with a carrying case, extra battery, charger, and instructions. This thing is cool - you can receive free email on it (120 characters max)!

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To: Carolyn who wrote (367)6/2/2004 10:40:02 PM
From: verdad
   of 381
 
Thanks for all the info! Sounds like you made out okay. I think Globalstar wanted to offer a lot of the same types of data features...I'm not sure what it's actually capable of today...their data rates used to be kind of slow (9.8kbps), but probably enough for short email/text messages.

By the way, without going to the website and checking for myself...can you share what terms they provided for your rental contract?

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To: Carolyn who wrote (365)6/3/2004 12:28:39 AM
From: verdad
   of 381
 
BTW, the 66 1/2 degrees N. lattitude coverage restriction only applies to Globalstar. Iridium's system truly provides global coverage as its satellites orbit the entire earth (including the poles).

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To: verdad who wrote (368)6/3/2004 5:44:38 AM
From: Carolyn
   of 381
 
$79.95 for 2 weeks + shipping. Thereafter $1.80/minute usage. They provide an extra battery plus the SIM card, instruction booklet, carrying case. It arrived yesterday (I leave today) via FedEx.

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