In the UK, Orange delayed offering services until April, a full year after the company agreed to become a service provider.
It is understood that idiosyncrasies with the Iridium service, including limited functionality and fraud protection, made the satellite system a difficult sell to corporate mobile users.
But Globalstar has chosen a different marketing focus and a different technological approach.
It means, unlike conventional mobile phones, that Iridium won't work indoors.
Worse, dropped calls are common, completion rates low, while other network functions perform unevenly.
Its "bent-pipe" satellites function as simple relays between end-users and ground stations.
Call processing and switching are carried out by gateways on the ground.
Unsurprisingly, all that technology came at a stiff price.