Three major players in the telecom industry, AT&T, Google, and Vodafone, have invested over $155 million in satellite startup AST SpaceMobile. This significant investment aims to propel AST SpaceMobile’s revolutionary satellite project forward. In addition to the funding from these companies, AST SpaceMobile also plans to access $51.5 million from its senior-secured credit facility, bringing the total investment to $206.5 million.
AST SpaceMobile’s ambitious project involves the deployment of their BlueWalker 3 satellite in low-Earth orbit. The company plans to launch five more satellites in the first quarter of 2024. The BlueWalker 3 satellite has already demonstrated impressive capabilities, supporting 2G, 4G LTE, and 5G calls, with download speeds of up to 14 Mbit/s per 5MHz channel.
AT&T’s involvement in this partnership goes back to 2020 when they initially announced their collaboration with AST SpaceMobile. This recent development, along with AT&T’s FCC filing in May 2023, granting spectrum lease to AST SpaceMobile, is a crucial step towards the commercialization of the project.
It’s important to note that AST SpaceMobile is not the only player in the satellite communication arena. Other companies like Lynk Global and SpaceX have also shown interest in satellite-direct-to-phone communications. This growing interest in satellite technology underscores its potential to revolutionize wireless and IoT connectivity globally.
Speaking of IoT, satellite IoT connections are expected to experience a tremendous growth rate, reaching over 20 million connections by 2027, according to Omdia. This surge in IoT connections can be attributed to various industries such as transportation, logistics, remote monitoring, and energy/utilities, where satellite technology becomes indispensable.
With the support of AT&T, Google, and Vodafone, AST SpaceMobile aims to overcome the challenges of connectivity in remote areas and expand its partnership network with mobile network operators worldwide. The impact of this investment is not limited to one company; it has the potential to reshape the telecommunications industry, bridging the digital divide and enabling global connectivity like never before.
1. What is the significance of the investment made by AT&T, Google, and Vodafone in AST SpaceMobile?
The investment aims to propel AST SpaceMobile’s revolutionary satellite project forward and support their ambitious plans for global connectivity.
2. What is AST SpaceMobile’s project about?
AST SpaceMobile’s project involves deploying their BlueWalker 3 satellite in low-Earth orbit, enabling satellite-direct-to-phone communications and supporting wireless and IoT connectivity globally.
3. How many satellites does AST SpaceMobile plan to launch?
AST SpaceMobile plans to launch five more satellites in the first quarter of 2024, in addition to the BlueWalker 3 satellite.
4. What capabilities does the BlueWalker 3 satellite offer?
The BlueWalker 3 satellite supports 2G, 4G LTE, and 5G calls, with download speeds of up to 14 Mbit/s per 5MHz channel.
5. Who else is involved in the satellite communication arena?
Other companies like Lynk Global and SpaceX have also shown interest in satellite-direct-to-phone communications, emphasizing the potential of satellite technology.
6. What is the projected growth rate for satellite IoT connections?
According to Omdia, satellite IoT connections are expected to reach over 20 million connections by 2027, driven by industries such as transportation, logistics, remote monitoring, and energy/utilities.
– Low-Earth orbit: Refers to an orbit around Earth at a relatively low altitude, usually between 160 km and 2,000 km.
– Spectrum Lease: Refers to the FCC granting AST SpaceMobile the rights to use a specific portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for their satellite communications.