SeaTel® to Offer Satellite Phone Service
Concord, CA January 9, 2001 SeaTel® and
Globalstar announced today that the two companies have reached an agreement to further
develop the maritime satellite phone market. SeaTel has formed a subsidiary company,
WaveCall Communications Inc., specifically to offer marine phone equipment and airtime
using the Globalstar network of satellites. The new service will be called WaveCall, and
will be offered through SeaTel Dealers.
SeaTel will provide the Marine Terminals, designated the GSMP 2001 maritime satellite mast antenna and the GSMP 2101 marine satellite antenna in the SeaTel Model 1898 radome. Both systems use the Globalstar network of 48 satellites. Service will initially be offered to customers in North America and the Caribbean, using Globalstar USA's North American gateways and the Caribbean gateway in Puerto Rico, and subsequently to customers in other Globalstar coverage areas. Subscribers will immediately be able to use their GSMP phones in most existing Globalstar coverage areas.
SeaTel developed the new satellite phone systems using the Qualcomm GSP 2800 model as the Radio Antenna Unit (RAU) for the GMSP 2001 and 2101 marine versions. Both phone systems have a data rate of 9.6 kbs and can be used for voice, digital fax, data and Internet services. The GSMP 2001 will retail for $2495.00 and the GSMP 2101 for $2995.00 and will be fully supported by SeaTel's worldwide dealer network.
Globalstar, led by founding partner Loral Space & Communications, is a partnership of the world's leading telecommunications service providers and equipment manufacturers, including co-founder Qualcomm Incorporated, Alenia, China Telecom (HK), DACOM, DaimerChrysler Aerospace, Elsacom (a Finmeccanica Company), Hyundai, TE.SA.M (a France Telecom/Alcatel Company), Space Systems/Loral, and Vodafone Group plc. This successful partnership has resulted in a satellite system with maritime coverage areas including North America, the North Atlantic above the 33d parallel, the Caribbean, Europe and the Mediterranean, the Gulf of Alaska, and the coastal waters around six continents. In addition, Globalstar recently launched its data service for the U.S., Caribbean, and Canada in December 2000. This service will allow WaveCall customers to access the Internet at 9.6 kbs with their basic service plan.
"Our new partnership with SeaTel is an exciting step for Globalstar, making our service available to a broad new potential customer base," said Bill Hipps, Globalstar LP's Director of Vertical Markets. "Maritime users have already found that Globalstar is the most practical and affordable way to stay in touch when out on the ocean beyond the range of most other communications services."
SeaTel, the world's leader in designing and manufacturing marine stabilized antennas for seaborne communications, has over 21 years experience in the maritime markets and distributes its products worldwide. The newly formed relationship strengthens Globalstar's maritime presence through SeaTel's maritime marketing expertise, its U.S./Canadian Representative Team (responsible for over 200 dealerships in North America), and its worldwide dealer and distribution network. "Globalstar phone, data and Internet products are a good fit with our entire line," stated Pat Matthews, President and CEO of SeaTel. "We believe that Globalstar has the potential to become the premier satellite telephone provider for maritime markets all over the world in the very near future.."
SeaTel and WaveCall are committed to further developing the maritime market for Globalstar services and are ready to ship product this month. Five separate rate plans will be offered to accommodate customers' average monthly minute usage. Peter Whyte, President of WaveCall Communications Inc. comments, "I believe that the most popular plan will be at $1.19 per minute with a $25.00 monthly access fee, however we will offer plans as low as $.99 per minute with no monthly access fee if the customer plans on a high volume usage."
In addition to digital voice quality and competitive rates, SeaTel and Globalstar see an immediate additional opportunity for mariners to enjoy Internet connectivity at sea in the Caribbean, offshore in North American waters, on the North Atlantic shipping routes, and in many other areas around the world in the near future. Both the GMSP 2001 and GSMP 2101 come fully equipped and capable of data services upon commissioning.
For additional information contact: Justin Caulfield at 781-274-9009 (EST) or Peter Whyte at 925-798-8520 (PST) or a SeaTel dealer near you.
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