Qualcomm’s former CEO takes Globalstar’s helm

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Paul Jacobs, renowned for his former leadership role at Qualcomm and being the son of the firm’s co-founder Irwin Jacobs, has stepped into the role of CEO at satellite firm Globalstar.

“I have devoted my career to advancing and commercialising innovation in wireless technology and am thrilled to continue this journey as CEO of Globalstar,” said Jacobs.

“The teams I’ve led have demonstrated the value creation that is possible by applying new technology to enhance capacity of underappreciated spectrum, and that is one of the many opportunities I see at Globalstar.”

The transition comes at a pivotal juncture for Globalstar, as its satellites currently fuel the emergency calling features on Apple’s latest iPhone model. It is anticipated that this partnership will expand as Apple integrates the technology into its imminent iPhone release, due to be announced on September 12.

Globalstar, however, is not solely reliant on its association with Apple. The company operates in various sectors, including messaging services facilitated by its Spot gadgets, Internet of Things (IoT) services, and the impending introduction of a two-way platform for its IoT division. Additionally, Globalstar possesses Band 53 spectrum holdings, hinting at forthcoming opportunities in private wireless networking and communications.

According to Jay Monroe, Globalstar’s chairman since 2004, Jacobs will play a pivotal role in steering the company’s focus towards these potential growth areas.

Monroe, who heads a private equity firm that acquired Globalstar after its bankruptcy, stated, “Paul is a technology pioneer and proven leader who is well suited to drive Globalstar’s next phase of growth across our satellite and terrestrial assets and cement our position as a market disruptor.”

Paul Jacobs’ professional journey saw him succeed his father at Qualcomm as CEO in 2005, a position he held until 2014. Following this, he continued to contribute as Qualcomm’s executive chairman until 2018. Subsequently, he spearheaded an endeavour to privatise Qualcomm—later founding startup XCOM Labs along with several top Qualcomm executives.

Globalstar’s strategic partnership with XCOM Labs in 2021 was a significant development, merging XCOM’s “capacity-multiplying technology” with Globalstar’s Band 53 spectrum. This collaboration facilitated the optimisation of Band 53’s capabilities for various wireless environments.

Jacobs commented, “Bringing together Globalstar’s terrestrial spectrum and relationships with leading partners around the world with XCOM’s differentiated technology, which is well suited for high-performance applications, creates a significant opportunity to deliver for private network customers with mission-critical needs.

“At the same time, Globalstar’s continued innovations in satellite connectivity are just as exciting, particularly in small form-factor devices. Through the combination of Globalstar’s resources and XCOM’s technology, we can bring even more innovation to market.”

The satellite industry is fiercely competitive, with companies like Iridium, SpaceX, and Viasat vying for a stake in phone-to-satellite communications. Private wireless networking is another arena in which Globalstar operates, alongside contenders such as Dish and Ligado.

Monroe, during a recent conference call, acknowledged the challenges but expressed optimism for the company’s future. Despite the challenges, Globalstar remains determined to deliver increasing revenue, EBITDA, and shareholder value under Jacobs’ leadership.

With the technology landscape ever-evolving, Jacobs’ extensive experience and leadership will help to steer Globalstar towards achieving its ambitious goals in both satellite-based communications and private wireless networking.

(Image Credit: XPRIZE Foundation under CC BY 2.0 license)

See also: UK announces fund to revolutionise connectivity with satellites

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