Satellite phone operator Globalstar will next week sign a deal with China Telecom to deliver its new services into the mainland. The agreement stems from a deal struck last year with the China Telecoms Broadcast Satellite Corporation (ChinaSat). Few details are known of this latest move. An announcement is due on Tuesday in Beijing, although some reports suggested China Telecom would be investing about US$37 million as part of the deal. ChinaSat and China Telecom are both controlled by the new Ministry of Information Industry which took on the operations of the ministries responsible for posts, telecoms, electronic industries and television and radio. US West Coast-based Globalstar plans to offer a worldwide mobile phone service using so-called low earth orbit satellites to bounce signals between callers. The company expects to launch a total of 44 satellites by the end of the year as part of its $2.7 billion network allowing users phone access anywhere in the world. In theory, a customer anywhere in China should be able to make a call to another customer anywhere else in the world. The original agreement with ChinaSat stated that it would be the sole distributor of Globalstar services and that it would own and operate four Globalstar ground stations. It appears China Telecom is taking over responsibility for the agreement. This would seem to make sense because it is the organ of state that runs the public switched network. Calls into China not directed to Globalstar customers would have to be routed on to the public network. Globalstar is owned jointly by US companies Loral Space & Communications, Qualcomm and Air Touch Communications, and by France Telecom. Rival satellite phone operator Iridium has also put in place an early agreement, made this year, with China Telecom to deliver its services into the mainland. Iridium has Motorola and Microsoft as major shareholders.