AST SpaceMobile Completes First Space-Based Voice Call

AST SpaceMobile has successfully completed the first-ever two-way voice calls using its BlueWalker 3 satellite, making it possible to directly connect standard mobile phones to a space-based cellular broadband network. The test calls, which were made using unmodified smartphones.

Highlights

  • AST SpaceMobile completes the first-ever two-way voice calls directly to unmodified smartphones using a satellite.
  • This is a significant advancement in providing cellular broadband connectivity to the unconnected population worldwide.
  • Engineers from Vodafone, Rakuten, and AT&T participated in testing the calls.

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AST SpaceMobile Completes First-Ever Space-Based Voice Call Using Everyday Smartphones

AST SpaceMobile, a company building the world's first space-based cellular broadband network, has successfully completed the first-ever two-way voice calls directly to everyday unmodified smartphones using the BlueWalker 3 (BW3) satellite. The feat marks a significant milestone in the company's mission to provide connectivity to the nearly 50% of the global population who remain unconnected from cellular broadband.




Also Read: AST SpaceMobile Aims to Expand Space-Based Cellular Connectivity

Validation of Technology

AST SpaceMobile's patented system and architecture were validated by the initial test calls, which were completed using unmodified smartphones. The calls demonstrated the power of the BlueWalker 3 satellite, the largest-ever commercial communications array deployed in low Earth orbit (LEO).

The company says this is a crucial step towards providing space-based 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and 5G cellular broadband globally. Engineers from Vodafone, Rakuten, and AT&T participated in preparing and testing the first voice calls with BW3.

Also Read: Sateliot Successfully Launches 5G-IoT LEO Satellite

First Voice Call from Midland, Texas, to Rakuten in Japan

According to the statement, The first voice call was made from the Midland, Texas area to Rakuten in Japan over AT&T spectrum using a Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphone. In addition to test calls, AST SpaceMobile engineers conducted initial compatibility tests on a variety of smartphones and devices.

The phones successfully exchanged Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) and network information directly to BW3. This is crucial for delivering broadband connectivity from space to any phone or device.

Also Read: Qualcomm to Bring Snapdragon Satellite to More Smartphones

AST SpaceMobile Partners

AST SpaceMobile said it has over 2,600 patent and patent-pending claims for its technology and has built state-of-the-art facilities in Midland, Texas that span a collective 185,000 square feet. The company has agreements and understandings with mobile network operators globally that have approximately 2 billion existing subscribers, including Vodafone Group, Rakuten Mobile, AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Telefonica, TIM, Saudi Telecom Company, Zain KSA, Etisalat, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison, Smart Communications, Globe Telecom, Millicom, Smartfren, Telecom Argentina, Telstra, Africell, Liberty Latin America, and others.

This achievement is a significant milestone in the company's quest to deliver global cellular broadband from space.

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Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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