With the raging of the pandemic ongoing, rural areas are being impacted now as much as urban areas, which tests communications technology to the brink, and puts in play the potential for greater responsibility going to satellite communications networks and services as towers fail on a coverage basis.

Hence the heightened relevance of the the Global Satellite Data Services Market. The size of that market is expected to reach $16.2 billion by 2026, rising at 25% CAGR during the next six years.

With increasing coordination of global information and data, and near monopolies by the big IT companies, this market could become increasingly important. The retail bull market we have seen since March consists of the standard process of short-term enthusiasm for the flavor of the day, but an ability to capture that essence can lead to years in gains compressed into weeks or even days.

That suggests the potential for some excitement in the space, which is why we are exploring some of the most interesting pure-play options that directly focus on this interesting theme, including: Intelsat SA (OTCMKTS:INTEQ), Iridium Communications Inc (NASDAQ:IRDM), SC Holdings Corp (OTCMKTS:SCNG), and Globalstar Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:GSAT).

Intelsat SA (OTCMKTS:INTEQ) provides satellite communications services worldwide. The company offers a range of communications services to media companies, fixed and wireless telecommunications operators, data networking service providers for enterprise and mobile applications in the air and on the seas, multinational corporations, and Internet service providers; and commercial satellite communication services to the U.S. government and other military organizations and their contractors.

It provides various on-network services, including transponder services; managed services that combine satellite capacity, teleport facilities, satellite communications hardware, and other ground facilities to provide managed and monitored broadband, trunking, video, and private network services to customers; and channel services primarily used for providing point-to-point bilateral services to telecommunications providers. However, this one is also in bankruptcy court, and has been working to find some way forward. Buyer beware.

Intelsat SA (OTCMKTS:INTEQ) just also filed a request to buy a company with money borrowed from its bankruptcy lenders. According to a number of press reports, the company asked the court’s permission to move forward with the transaction, and to amend the contract on its bankruptcy-lender agreement to allow the purchase.

According to reports, Intelsat said it now has enough financing to complete the deal, between the cash it has on hand and the $1 billion loan it has received from its bankruptcy lenders. Intelsat didn’t name the business it plans to buy, the seller, the purchase price, or the terms of the deal, and it asked to seal documents and redact information that would allow the public to identify the target.

The context for this announcement is a bit of a bid, with shares acting well over the past five days, up about 3% in that timeframe.

Intelsat SA (OTCMKTS:INTEQ) managed to rope in revenues totaling $482M in overall sales during the company’s most recently reported quarterly financial data — a figure that represents a rate of top line growth of -5.4%, as compared to year-ago data in comparable terms. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($1.1B against $5.8B, respectively).

Iridium Communications Inc (NASDAQ:IRDM) provides mobile voice and data communications services and product to businesses, the United States and foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, and consumers worldwide.

The company offers postpaid mobile voice and data satellite communications; prepaid mobile voice satellite communications; push-to-talk; broadband data; and Internet of Things (IoT) services. It also provides other services, such as inbound connections from the public switched telephone network, short message, subscriber identity module, activation, customer reactivation, and other peripheral services.

Iridium Communications Inc (NASDAQ:IRDM) just announced SKYTRAC as the newest aviation Value Added Manufacturer (VAM) for the Iridium Certus 9810 transceiver. Already an Iridium Certus service provider, SKYTRAC will now be able to both manufacture equipment and provide service to customers across the aviation industry.

According to the release, designed for optimal size, weight and power (SWaP), SKYTRAC’s new SDL-350 terminal will be a 2-MCU satellite communications system, planned for market introduction in 2021.  The new terminal will offer broadband speeds of up to 352 kbps both to and from the aircraft.  Built for the only L-band broadband platform providing truly global connectivity, the SDL-350 also takes advantage of the Iridium Certus platform’s flexibility to scale device speeds, sizes, and power requirements based on the needs of the end-user.

The stock has suffered a bit of late, with shares of IRDM taking a hit in recent action, down about -16% over the past week.

Iridium Communications Inc (NASDAQ:IRDM) pulled in sales of $140.2M in its last reported quarterly financials, representing top line growth of -2%. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($119.1M against $101.9M).

SC Holdings Corp (OTCMKTS:SCNG), is a new player in this game, with a recent deal to push its technology subsidiary actively into the satcom space. Strattner Financial Group, the branch in charge of the technology division, is also actively pursuing the strategy to acquire a Broker-Dealer in the USA and obtain FCA licensing in the United Kingdom to accelerate enterprise growth and provide tailored investment banking and growth services relevant to the industries where subsidiaries operate. The Company opened its technology division Strattner Technologies LLC which made headlines acquiring New York based Point-To-Point technology firm Always On Incorporated. Shortly after that, Strattner Technologies LLC entered the satellite communications market through an agreement with satellite network operator Pivotel America, Inc.

Strattner Technologies LLC also recently signed a contract with satellite phone manufacturer AdvanceTC Limited (OTC:ATCLF) to service and commercialize up to one million phones via the Strattner.Space platform. AdvanceTCs android based satellite-smartphone Xplore 7 is a FCC/SIRIM certified rugged satellite-smartphone with 4G LTE, satellite messaging and emergency button device which received authorization by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2019.

SC Holdings Corp (OTCMKTS:SCNG) recently announced that its subsidiary Strattner Technologies LLC signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Program Management Office (PMO), which will remain in effect for three years, is to establish a management agreement between Strattner Technologies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding the development, management, operation, and security of a connection between Strattner Alerts, owned by Strattner Technologies, and the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System – Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN) owned by FEMA.

Strattner Alerts is a service being developed by Strattner Technologies LLC with the mission to build a SaaS, mobile app and web service system capable of sending the relevant messages to the right audiences to ensure public safety of the American People.

SC Holdings Corp (OTCMKTS:SCNG) recently reported that assets under management in its wholly owned private funds TBS Equities Fund LLC and TBS Capital LP increased 192% from $2,328,582 to $6,812,000 attributable to a growing securities portfolio. The company continues to line up key deals to commercially expand in the sat-com space.

Globalstar Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:GSAT) provides mobile satellite services worldwide.

The company offers duplex two-way voice and data products, including mobile voice and data satellite communications services and equipment for remote business continuity, recreational usage, safety, emergency preparedness and response, and other applications; fixed voice and data satellite communications services and equipment at industrial, commercial, and residential sites, as well as rural villages and ships; and satellite data modem services comprising asynchronous and packet data services.

It also provides SPOT consumer retail products, such as SPOT satellite GPS messenger for personal tracking, emergency location, and messaging solutions; and SPOT Trace, an anti-theft and asset tracking device.

Globalstar Inc (NYSEAMERICAN:GSAT) recently announced its operating and financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020.

Dave Kagan, Chief Executive Officer of Globalstar, commented, “Globalstar recorded improved overall profitability for the second quarter, and I am pleased with our ability to continue to execute our business plan on so many fronts even in the face of the extreme adversity that COVID-19 presents. We continue to see the negative impacts of the pandemic and the oil and gas industry downturn on our revenue, particularly with lower customer demand of our Commercial IoT products. While we recognize that we are experiencing unprecedented times, our confidence in the future expansion of our Commercial IoT business remains and the execution of our product development efforts continues. Just this quarter, we introduced three new products, including the ST100, the latest satellite transmitter in our family of Commercial IoT solutions. Intended for rapid development in partnership with our resellers, the ST100 is a low-cost data modem suitable for any commercial market that needs remote data connectivity. Utility contractor Potelco will be a launch customer of the ST100 through our partnership with Recon Dynamics. Potelco operates from 12 offices spread around the Pacific Northwest with 1,100 employees utilizing over 3,500 pieces of equipment. We expect there to be many more companies with needs similar to Potelco.”

While this is a clear factor, it has been incorporated into a trading tape characterized by a pretty dominant offer, which hasn’t been the type of action GSAT shareholders really want to see. In total, over the past five days, shares of the stock have dropped by roughly -5% on above average trading volume. All in all, not a particularly friendly tape, but one that may ultimately present some new opportunities. Globalstar, Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN:GSAT) generated sales of $30.4M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of -5.7% on the top line. In addition, the company is battling some balance sheet hurdles, with cash levels struggling to keep up with current liabilities ($15.7M against $100.7M, respectively).