AST SpaceMobile attracts investments from AT&T, Google and Vodafone

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AST SpaceMobile has attracted significant investments totalling $206.5 million from industry giants AT&T, Google, and Vodafone. The investment includes $155 million as a strategic infusion and an additional $51.5 million to be drawn from the company’s existing senior-secured credit facility.

This latest investment round underscores confidence in AST SpaceMobile’s technology and its position in the emerging space-based cellular direct-to-device market. The company aims to provide connectivity to the 5.5 billion cellular devices worldwide when they are out of traditional coverage.

Abel Avellan, Chairman and CEO of AST SpaceMobile, commented: “Our vision has always been to collaborate with the world’s leading wireless companies. This investment signifies tremendous confidence in our ability to ensure the future of cellular is borderless.”

AST SpaceMobile currently operates the largest commercial communications array in low Earth orbit, the BlueWalker 3 satellite. The company has patented technology that enables broadband connectivity directly to unmodified cellular devices, adhering to today’s cellular standards.

In 2023, AST SpaceMobile achieved several historic technical milestones in space-based cellular communications – including 2G, 4G LTE, and 5G calls – demonstrating download speeds of 14 Mbps per 5 Mhz channels directly to everyday smartphones.

With agreements with over 40 mobile network operators globally, servicing over two billion subscribers collectively, AST SpaceMobile’s technology aims to eliminate cellular connectivity gaps globally.

Chris Sambar, Executive Vice President, Head of Network, AT&T, said: “Through our work with AST SpaceMobile, we’ve already proven the possibilities that satellite has to offer in helping connect more people via text, voice and video.

“We’re excited to deepen our relationship with this investment as we continue to drive a first-of-its-kind innovation forward and work together to achieve this shared vision of space-based connectivity for consumers, businesses and first responders all around the globe.”

The strategic investment includes $110 million in 10-year subordinated convertible notes, a $20 million revenue commitment from AT&T, and a $25 million minimum revenue commitment from Vodafone.

In addition to the investment, Vodafone and AT&T have placed purchase orders for network equipment, while Google and AST SpaceMobile will collaborate on product development, testing, and implementation plans for SpaceMobile network connectivity on Android and related devices.

Margherita Della Valle, CEO of Vodafone, commented: “Vodafone’s investment and collaboration with AST SpaceMobile will help make our mobile connectivity services available everywhere for our customers across Europe and Africa.

“Customers in remote rural areas, on land or out at sea, will be able to benefit from fast and reliable 5G broadband directly to their existing smartphones without the need for specialist equipment.”

(Image Credit: AST SpaceMobile)

See also: SpaceX exchanges first texts using its ‘Direct to Cell’ satellites

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