Globalstar prepares to provide next-generation of wireless services as delivery of first new satellites is less than a year away
(Milpitas, CA., August 27, 2008) -- Globalstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:GSAT), the world's largest provider of mobile satellite voice and data services to businesses, government and individuals, today announced that satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space has begun production assembly, integration and testing of the first Globalstar second-generation flight model satellites. Globalstar, Thales Alenia Space and Arianespace company officials presented the latest updates to members of the media and investment community at the Thales Alenia Space satellite manufacturing facility located in Cannes, France. The new satellites, scheduled for delivery beginning in less than a year, will be used to provide Globalstar's next-generation of advanced mobile satellite voice and data services.
In November of 2006 Globalstar signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space for the design, manufacture and delivery of 48 second-generation satellites. In September of 2007 Globalstar signed a contract with launch provider Arianespace to launch the second-generation satellites beginning in the second half of next year. Globalstar will once again use the highly reliable human-rated Soyuz launch vehicle which has been used to successfully launch 32 Globalstar first-generation satellites.
"For more than a decade our talented engineers and operations personnel have been working with the highly skilled team of satellite and launch experts from Thales Alenia Space, Arianespace and their Soyuz partners," said Tony Navarra, President of Space Operations and Engineering for Globalstar, Inc. Mr. Navarra added, "This first-generation legacy helped lead to the manufacture of our current constellation plus eight successful Globalstar Soyuz launches. Today's announcement and manufacturing tour clearly demonstrate we're on track to meet our second-generation launch schedule. We are doing exactly what we set out to do and we are doing so on time and on budget. We want to thank Thales Alenia Space, Arianespace and all their sub-contractors for helping us meet our aggressive timetable to deploy Globalstar's next-generation network and the advanced wireless voice and data services that it will bring."
"We are very proud to have been chosen by Globalstar, Inc. for this major program," said Blaise Jaeger, Thales Alenia Space Executive Vice President and General Manager Telecommunications Business Unit. "With the production AIT phase for the second generation kicking off today, after meeting all program milestones since its start in November 2006, we are on schedule to start launches as early as Q3 2009. Building on our long-standing relation, we continue to team up with Globalstar in an outstanding partnership, and look forward to the continued flawless execution of the program".
"Since February 1999, Arianespace has had the privelege, through its Starsem affiliate, of launching 32 satellites of the Globalstar fleet. Last year, we were honored to have been entrusted by Globalstar with launching its second-generation constellation. In 2009, this decade-old relationship with Globalstar is expected to continue in French Guiana, when Arianespace will deliver to orbit another six Globalstar satellites on the world's most reliable launch vehicle, the Soyuz. As ever, Arianespace stands ready with a proven guarantee of 'Service & Solutions' to help Globalstar meet its goals," said Jean-Yves Le Gall, Chairman & CEO of Arianespace.