<span class="highlight">Globalstar</span> - are they that bad?

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 02, 2007 at 20:59
ThreadID: 52181 Views:3937 Replies:6 FollowUps:14
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Having read relevant posts on Globalstar (mostly bad) I wanted to post an experience I had last year.
I was fortunate enough to win a competition which entitled me to a Globalstar Sat/CDMA phone plus full car kit to take on our trip from Melbourne to - Ayers Rock - Gunbarrell Hwy - CSR - Kimberley - Pilbara - Esperance - Isralite Bay - Nullabor - Milparinka etc. We had 4 vehicles in our group for the CSR, two for the Gunbarrel, & Kimberley and one for the rest (ME).
During the time away on the Gunbarrell we received calls from family members on Fathers Day and a birthday being celebrated (No problems) On the CSR we made and received calls even to the extent of calling mates in Melbourne every 30 mins or so to get the scores in the AFL Grand Final (again no problems) at Durba Springs. Our only problem came just after Well 34 where one of our group experienced being unwell. It was decided to call his Doctor in Melbourne for advice - we were not able to get a call thru for around 1 hour - (I wish to add that during this time he was ok to be a passenger with his wife driving) After getting thru it was found his doctor was in surgery and would have to call back - this happened some 30 mins later - after which all was ok. Numerous calls were made and received for the rest of our trip up the CSR thru the Kimberley & Pilbara (what a magnificent area) and down thru Newman etc. It was only when I got to Isralite Bay & back across the Nullabour did any real delays occur - however it was just a case of waiting a while and you would get the call out (not great in an emergency I agree) - So after reading and evaluating the other posts on this subject I'm wondering if it's case of Globalstar having a problem in the Southern Hemisphere?
I would lilke to add that two of the vehicles on this trip carried epirbs.

Just another input on the Sat phone question

Cheers 4 now

Mike
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Dec 02, 2007 at 21:15

Sunday, Dec 02, 2007 at 21:15
If you have read the previous posts then you know the issues.

Also the top of Australia is still in the southern hemisphere or at least it was last time I looked.
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Dec 02, 2007 at 21:23

Sunday, Dec 02, 2007 at 21:23
The service quality you experienced last year with Globalstar are irrelevant to Globalstar performance today - many of their satellites have failed in the last year.

The reduced number of available satellites currently is causing the performance problems.
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Follow Up By: brummie pete - Sunday, Dec 02, 2007 at 21:57

Sunday, Dec 02, 2007 at 21:57
i believe what your saying is true ,my GSAT was fine up untill a little over six months ago .Alas i have put my account on to suspension untill the offer of cheap iridium handsets become available in the middle of feb 2008.
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Follow Up By: BIGDOG24308 - Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 00:40

Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 00:40
Globalstar............You got to be joking, how someone has not died as a result of their so called service/coverage is beyond me.

Imho what they are doing should be illegal........charging for a service they cant provide. And their catchcry..."Safety, your first call" What a joke.

Cheers...........BIGDOG
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Follow Up By: Paul from Adventure Offroad Campers - Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 09:34

Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 09:34
I agree whole heartedly with BIGDOG I have had nothing but troubles with Globalstar reception. Embarrassing now with the 3G network that others can get phone calls out but not me with a Globalstar TOY.
Someone will have Globalstar big time when a serious issue arises and the Sat phone doesnt work.

I wish I had purchased a HF radio. Actually think I still will.

Cheers.
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Follow Up By: brummie pete - Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 10:03

Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 10:03
I agree BIGDOG ,i think what they are doing is illegal and even to this day they keep banging on about the service is going to get better but thats no good if your heading bush today is it ?.
They try and give you the sales spiel just to keep you connected but once they realise they are going to loose you they offer to suspend your account so that you can take advantage of the so called cheap handset offer on iridiums on feb 14 ,to be honest i think they are liars but im going to stay untill the end of feb then pull the pin .
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 10:13

Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 10:13
Lets be clear that we are only referring to the Globa$hit service, the Iridium service is very good and totally unaffected by any of the issues that plague Global$hit.

The clearly misleading advertising that Global$hit undertake is certainly against the law and I'm surprised that all you Global$hit owners are not filing complaints with the ACCC.

I would not hold my breath waiting for "subsidised handsets" from Global$hit on the Iridium system next year either as they can't tell you the truth about what they don't have now.

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Follow Up By: brummie pete - Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 15:56

Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 15:56
Hi john ,i know its bloody annoying and tantamount to theft as far as im concerned ,but i suppose i can live in hope and they come good on the offer of cheap iridium handsets but as you say they cant lay straight in bed now so i cant see it changing in the future .
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Reply By: Member - Mick O (VIC) - Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 17:52

Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 17:52
I'd say that the in-car kit also improved your performance with reception as they make a point of highlighting this in their brouchures. I've found the service pathetic over every part of Australia that I've visited (and that's a fair bit of Oz in the last 18 months. So much so that after my last trip in August this year, I rang and refused to part with any more money until they could achieve the level of coverage and service that they alluded to in their advertising. I'm in "waiting" mode at the moment. I'll see if they've improved any on the next trip in a few months. Having seen the benefits of a HF radio community on the last trip, i'm going down that road I think.

Cheers.

Mick
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Follow Up By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 18:06

Monday, Dec 03, 2007 at 18:06
ditto.
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Reply By: Underdog - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2007 at 10:52

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2007 at 10:52
I am the Pivotel Managing Director and I would like to take the opportunity to directly address some of the Globalstar issues being raised. I apologise for gatecrashing the forum and will go away if you don't find the information here at least a little bit helpful.

Pivotel is the parent company of Globalstar Australia. The Globalstar service is being affected by the performance of the satellite constellation and this is frustrating and even angering some people. At Globalstar Australia we resell the airtime but have no ownership interests in the satellites. So we also get frustrated with satellite gaps. Currently we believe the phones can connect and make calls around 60-70% of the time. Globalstar in the US has launched 8 new satellites, 5 are in operation and the remaining 3 are being moved to their orbit locations and will become operational in 2008. Some improvement has occurred over the past 3-4 months and we expect to see some further improvement next year however we expect from there it will get a little worse over time. Globalstar in the US is working to launch a new satellite constellation commencing in mid 2009. Because of the reduced quality of service we will cutting our satellite per minute call rates by 50% for all Globalstar users from January 2008 through until December 2009.

In addition, we are planning to launch the Iridium service under Pivotel in February next year. Most of the call plans rates will be identical to the current Globalstar plans but without the 50% discount. The service will use standard mobile numbers that can also provide access to the Vodafone network at great call rates. Because we will use standard mobile numbers it won't be expensive to call one of our Iridium phones. There will be an opportunity for existing customers to switch to Iridium on a subsidised handset and carkit offer. There won't be any need to enter into a whole new network agreement. A minimum term will apply. We will be writing to all of our customers in the next 1-2 weeks with this same information and the offer will be made available from late January.

For those of you who have stuck with us I am grateful. In Australia we cannot control the satellites but we do try to limit the impact upon you and have been working on the Iridium alternative for some time to ensure we offer a better service than our competitors. With a good network of dealers around the country and a very competent and responsive call centre team we aim to proviide the best possible level of support.
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Follow Up By: Neil & Pauline - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2007 at 12:55

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2007 at 12:55
I accept that all these issues are out of your control but I fail to see how you can expect people to be paying for the service that is not there. I have had 2 calls of less than 15 seconds in the last 18 moths and you offered me $50 towards the $90 per month contract. Your complain because I don't answer messages you leave on the phone and I refuse to go to central Australia, as suggested by one of your consultants, to collect a message that probably says pay up.
Since your last letter to me advises you intend taking legal action I guess I will see you in court.

Neil
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2007 at 17:47

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2007 at 17:47
Mr Underdog that sounds like a crock of $hit to me.

You have been advertising a service and taking peoples money for quite sometime and the service simply does not live up to its advertised expectations.

Considering the car kit for the Iridium phone cost about as much as the phone itself I'm now wondering what sort of subsidy you could be offering??
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Dec 06, 2007 at 12:36

Thursday, Dec 06, 2007 at 12:36
Underdog....I've acheived no-where near the 60/70% connection that you suggest. In fact I have given up on your organisation; fair people expect to be treated fairly!
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Thursday, Dec 06, 2007 at 12:51

Thursday, Dec 06, 2007 at 12:51
Hi Underdog

Just as a follow up to my previous post. As you have chosen to address the forum perhaps you would care to give some insight into what Globalstar’s response is to Globalstar in the US. I’m assuming the company must have some sort of service agreement and I would assume the current service is falling short of the agreement.

Is Globalstar Australia complaining long and hard to Globalstar in the US; is it paying the bills for a sub-standard service and is it voicing its displeasure long and hard?
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Dec 06, 2007 at 15:51

Thursday, Dec 06, 2007 at 15:51
Hmmm!!! No reply from Mr Underdog???
I wonder why??
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Friday, Dec 07, 2007 at 08:57

Friday, Dec 07, 2007 at 08:57
Well the point is John I would almost be certain that Globalstar would not pay the US company if it doesn't meet its obligations - why should they expect us to pay?

I doubt there will be any reply....as usual with Globalstar the silence is deafening!
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Reply By: Member - bushfix - Tuesday, Dec 04, 2007 at 11:40

Tuesday, Dec 04, 2007 at 11:40
I'll stick with Inmarsat. And no, I don't use it in the marine environment.
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Reply By: Underdog - Friday, Dec 07, 2007 at 13:35

Friday, Dec 07, 2007 at 13:35
The question has been asked as to whether we pay Globalstar in the US for the service they provide. Yes we do. We have a commercial agreement with them. Whilst the deterioration in satellite services hurts us and our customers today we are optimistic that Globalstar will have a very good service once they launch their new satellites commencing in 2009.

For anyone who would like to see when they can make calls in their area of travel, please have a look at the Optimum Covergae tool available on the globalstar.com.au web site. This tool will show the best times for making calls from any location for up to 48 hours ahead. The times when gaps in coverage occur varies from day to day due to the nature of LEO satellites. It is possible to calculate from the report the overall percentage of time they can connect. For example, running the satellite availability today for Quiplie in Western Queensland would show that the satellite connectivity is approximately 70%

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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Dec 07, 2007 at 15:02

Friday, Dec 07, 2007 at 15:02
Its good to know that if my kid is in need of urgent medical advice or assistance then using a Glob$hit phone I would have a possible 70 percent chance of getting help.
That really makes me feel better. (Not)
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