Globalstar, Arianespace Resolve Payment Dispute

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PARIS — Mobile satellite services provider Globalstar and launch services provider Arianespace have settled their dispute over how much Globalstar owes to cover launch-cost overruns due to satellite delays, Globalstar said Sept. 18.

Pending payment of the now agreed-to amount by Globalstar — the statement did not disclose the figure — Arianespace is expected to proceed with the launch of the fourth and final group of six second-generation Globalstar satellites in early 2013, Globalstar said.

Globalstar Chief Executive Jay Monroe said Sept. 11 during the World Satellite Business Week conference that the dispute with Arianespace, which he said was due entirely to satellite delivery delays by Thales Alenia Space, totaled no more than “a couple of million dollars.”

Evry, France-based Arianespace and its French-Russian Starsem affiliate have conducted three Soyuz launches of second-generation Globalstar satellites, with each launch carrying six spacecraft.

The final batch is about ready for shipment from Thales Alenia Space’s Rome facility to the Starsem launch site at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The more quickly Globalstar launches its satellites, the more quickly it will be able to restore two-way voice service, a key source of revenue, to its customer base.

“Due to available launch windows and the upcoming end-of-year holiday season, the fourth launch is now anticipated in early 2013,” Globalstar said in its Sept. 18 statement.

Globalstar recently concluded a contract with Cannes, France-based Thales Alenia Space specifying the cost of building six additional Globalstar satellites to bring the constellation to 30. Globalstar and Thales Alenia Space have concluded that Globalstar will be able to offer full voice and data service with 30 satellites instead of the 48 originally foreseen.

 

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