What: Shares of satellite communications veteran Globalstar (NYSEMKT:GSAT) soared more than 20% higher on Monday morning, adding to a 35% lift on Friday afternoon. Together, these moves add up to a 57% surge over two days.
So what: According to a press release from Globalstar, the FCC is about to approve the company's proposed terrestrial low-power service, or TLPS. Located in the radio spectrum space between the highest Wi-Fi channel and Globalstar's satellite networks, TLPS would add two more channels to existing Wi-Fi networks. Furthermore, Globalstar would then be able to build out its own land-based wireless network, using the TLPS spectrum and conventional wireless towers.
The TLPS plan was proposed more than three years ago. Globalstar share prices have increased more than sixfold since that original petition.
Now what: The company has been battling objections from wireless rivals and other special interest groups. The pending FCC approval will make all of these objections moot, as Globalstar's numerous trial installations have rebutted the concerns about interference with other wireless devices.
The Wi-Fi Alliance argued that an exclusive Globalstar license for the new band would harm other industry players and that the new service would overlap the current Channel 11 in a harmful way. In response, Globalstar said that it was not asking for any exclusive rights, nor looking for any license at all. With these concessions in mind, I can't wait to see the final FCC rules for the TLPS network -- and how Globalstar plans to implement this new asset.
But it's clearly a positive development for the company, regardless of the nitty-gritty details. Globalstar investors have been waiting for this moment with bated breath.