Satellite phones provider Globalstar has received permission from the FCC to add a terrestrial component to their service. The company can now use a portion of its spectrum for terrestrial base stations that will provide service to urban areas satellite phone signals normally cannot reach. Once base stations are installed, Globalstar will offer a modified version of current satellite / cellular dual mode handsets to take advantage of the new infrastructure. Globalstar is not the only company looking at this technology, Mobile Satellite Ventures recently announced they plan to offer a similar service.
I kinda like Thuraya's (Europe, Africa, Asia) model better. Thuraya uses GSM and switches to satellite when GSM isn't available. If you're outside of Thuraya's coverage area, like in the western hemisphere, you can roam on another carrier's GSM netw... (continues)
I actually like this stuff because it is interesting for more kinds of technologies to come here domestically. Obviously, coverage in doors and in some areas are sub-par so perhaps they can team up with the cellular companies to improve on those problems. To invest billions of dollars to try to go into this USA market I think is a bad idea especially when the penetration rate is so high at 75%. Seems to be interesting..
I think this is the next step for cell phones and will be the standard in 10-15 years max. A combination of satelite/cell technology..satelite when unable to achieve cell signal, cellular the rest of the time. True global phones.