Whew! Frost & Sullivan, a well-regarded research and consulting company, released preliminary results of its survey of satellite phone services reliability (only Globalstar and Iridium have been tested). Results are quite grim for Globalstar, although not very surprising to me. Here is the quote from their press release:
In initial testing, analysts found that more than 99 percent of calls placed through the Iridium handset were successfully connected, compared to 51.3 percent of calls from the Globalstar handset. Tests also indicate that 98.1 percent of calls on the Iridium handset and 36.2 percent of calls on the Globalstar handset were successfully connected and completed without being dropped during a three-minute period.
These outcomes are probably not very surprising for mobile satellite salesmen and customer support people. We have often experienced service problems and coverage holes with Globalstar and suggested Iridium or Thuraya phones to customers whenever possible in the last two years.
This is a very bad PR for Globalstar, which is yet to recover from the recent announcement of possible deficiencies in its satellites fleet.