A distributed communication network includes switching offices (SOs), moving-orbit satellites, and subscriber information managers (SIMs). A population of mobile units (MUs) communicates through the network. A MU automatically determines its location and communicates with the network so that this information is kept current at a SO serving the MU and at a home SIM for the MU. The terrestrial nodes of the network have information showing which MUs are logged on at any given time. This knowledge is used to block calls to MUs known to be logged off. Calls are setup through cooperation between SOs. When calls are being setup to MUs, call-originating SOs determine appropriate SIMs and obtains the current location of the MUs from those SIMs. This current location corresponds to a call-destination SO with which the originating SO may cooperate in setting up a call.