Mobile satellite communications provider Globalstar has awarded Space Systems/Loral a contract for the design and potential future construction of a next-generation satellite constellation using the 2GHz frequency spectrum. The award meets the deadline set by the US Federal Communications Commission last year when it granted Globalstar's application to use the 2GHz spectrum.

The next-generation constellation will consist of 56 low Earth orbit satellites supplemented by four geostationary orbit spacecraft. The satellites will be delivered to Globalstar on orbit beginning in 2006 and will provide additional system capacity, particularly for data applications, along with improved coverage of remote areas.

Globalstar filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year with debts of $3.34 billion, and is working with partners on a financing restructuring plan.

Source: Flight International