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AT&T launches space-based direct-to-mobile broadband

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  • Digital Team 

AT&T and AST SpaceMobile have formalized a commercial agreement to create a space-based broadband network that will connect directly to everyday cell phones. This definitive agreement, effective until 2030, marks a significant advancement from their previous collaboration under a Memorandum of Understanding. The partnership represents a major stride towards enhanced connectivity for consumers and businesses nationwide.

This summer, AST SpaceMobile plans to launch its first commercial satellites from Cape Canaveral into low Earth orbit. These initial five satellites will facilitate the commencement of commercial service, building on several milestones achieved in 2023, including the first voice call, text, and video call made via space using everyday smartphones.

AT&T and AST SpaceMobile have been collaborating since 2018, with AT&T playing a crucial role in this innovative connectivity solution. Chris Sambar, AT&T’s Head of Network, will soon join AST SpaceMobile’s board of directors. AT&T will continue to partner with AST SpaceMobile in the development, testing, and troubleshooting of this technology to enable satellite coverage across the continental U.S.

“Space-based direct-to-mobile technology is designed to provide customers connectivity by complementing and integrating with our existing mobile network,” said Jeff McElfresh, Chief Operating Officer of AT&T. “This agreement is the next step in our industry leadership to use emerging satellite technologies to provide services to consumers and in locations where connectivity was not previously feasible.”

“Working together with AT&T has paved the way to unlock the potential of space-based cellular broadband directly to everyday smartphones. We are thrilled to solidify our collaboration through this landmark agreement,” said Abel Avellan, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of AST SpaceMobile. “We aim to bring seamless, reliable service to consumers and businesses across the continental U.S., transforming the way people connect and access information.”

The implementation of this satellite solution is expected to eliminate dead zones in remote areas, providing two-way connectivity in places that were previously inaccessible.

In the near future, consumers will benefit from improved connectivity in remote and wilderness areas, including national parks, rural highways, and other hard-to-reach locations, enhancing their peace of mind and access to information.

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