April 10th, 2011
Globalstar... A Delay + A Comment... (Launch + Regulation)
Globalstar, Inc. has announced that satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space has determined during pre-launch activities that the second launch of six second-generation satellites be delayed. Thales explained that additional technical checks to the satellites were necessary in order to respect the quality process and secure the mission. The launch was previously scheduled for mid-May. Globalstar signed a contract with Thales Alenia Space in late 2006 for the design, manufacture and delivery of its second-generation satellites. In 2007 Globalstar contracted with Arianespace for launches of six satellites each using the Soyuz.
Globalstar has also responded to the recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Report and Order regarding the use of mobile satellite services (MSS) spectrum for terrestrial mobile broadband use. In the Report and Order dated April 6, 2011, the FCC stated, "We extend the Commission's existing secondary market 'spectrum manager' spectrum leasing policies, procedures, and rules that currently apply to wireless terrestrial services to the use of MSS/ATC [mobile satellite services/ancillary terrestrial component] spectrum for the provision of terrestrial services." The FCC added, "We anticipate issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking on subjects raised in the MSS NOI, including possible service rule changes that could increase investment and utilization of the band in a manner that further serves the public interest."
With the release of this Report and Order, the Commission continues to implement the recommendations outlined in the National Broadband Plan. This Plan recommended that the FCC accelerate terrestrial deployment in Mobile Satellite Spectrum. Specifically, the Plan provided that the FCC should accelerate efforts to rationalize ATC-authorized L-band spectrum to make it usable for broadband ATC service and grant licensees flexibility under the ATC regime in the Big LEO band to make this spectrum permanently suitable for terrestrial broadband service. The FCC began these considerations last July by issuing a Notice of Inquiry. "Now that we have successfully completed the FCC licensing proceedings for our second generation constellation, we look forward to participating in these future MSS flexibility proceedings wherein the FCC will consider further implementation of the recommendations from the National Broadband Plan," said L. Barbee Ponder, General Counsel and VP of Regulatory Affairs, Globalstar, Inc.