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Globalstar launches Sat-Fi

Globalstar, which operates a constellation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) L-band satellites, has launched Sat-Fi, a hotspot system which can provide satellite connectivity to smartphones, tablets or laptops via Wi-Fi.

The device must be connected to an antenna with line of sight to the satellite to access the Globalstar network, and can then facilitate multiple connections through a single hotspot unit. Several crew members can thus connect their own Wi-Fi enabled device to it, as long as they are within range of the hotspot, using their smartphones or computers.

Through an app and the Sat-Fi hotspot, they can send and receive calls, text messages and e-mails, within the footprint of Globalstar’s Duplex network (mainly Northern hemisphere, see map).

Headquartered in Louisiana, Globalstar expects Sat-Fi to receive final certification from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) during the second quarter of 2014, after which it will sell the product through its distribution network.

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Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


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