For those not familiar with this company, it’s a satellite technology entity, but much of the recent news (and operational activity) has centered around something called Terrestrial Low Power Service (TLPS). To explain this technology a little, it’s basically a way of boosting terrestrial cell service in regions where it’s weak. Specifically, it supports what are called “small cells”, which are clusters of transmitters that can be used to improve coverage (based on the density of the transmitters) in places with high footfall but low network coverage – stadiums, parks, that sort of thing.
Anyone with a television in the US will know that right now, network coverage is a major part of the marketing efforts of the major providers in the US. AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) are basically running ads on repeat claiming to have the better coverage, and as these claims advance, something’s got to support them.
And we’re seeing the above attempt to improve coverage and substantiate the claims they are making across various advertising channels, in recent months. Most notably, there’s a reported bidding war going on right now between AT&T and Verizon for Straight Path Communications (NYSEMKT:STRP) – a company that’s offering very similar technology to Globalstar. Not only that, but an FDA quiet period for an FCC auction of wireless spectrum licenses (an auction that started early last year) just closed.
With these inputs, the suggestion that mergers and acquisition activity could be about to ramp up in the space is basically all that’s being talked about right now, and Globalstar is one of the companies that’s at the center of said activity. It’s a very reasonable suggestion that whichever of AT&T or Verizon miss out on Straight Path (assuming they are actually bidding against each other and one of them wins out) could pivot to an effort to pick up Globalstar almost immediately.
If it’s not one of the above, another company could very realistically enter the fray.
So the situation now is that Globalstar is getting a lot of speculative attention based on its attractiveness as an acquisition target in a busy period for the mobile network and satellite space in the US. With all this speculative activity ongoing, it’s very difficult to see the company losing strength near term.
Longer term, things are far from being as clear. If the company doesn’t get acquired, its prospects are up in the air. Financials aren’t great and there’s a dilutive risk on the company’s self-funded expansion efforts.