AT&T and AST SpaceMobile ink direct-to-device satellite deal


The partners claim the deal paves the way for the elimination of not-spots across the US

This week, AT&T and AST SpaceMobile have signed a definitive commercial deal to work together in bringing direct-to-mobile satellite communication to AT&T customers.

The agreement, which builds on a previous Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2018, extends until 2030

As part of the MoU, AT&T will invest $500,000 into the satellite firm, with AT&T’s Head of Network, Chris Sambar, taking a seat on AST’s board of directors.

In a LinkedIn post, Sambar said the deal brings the company “one step closer” to effectively combining satellite and terrestrial mobile connectivity, in efforts to ensure customers are never without access to connectivity.

“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, AST SpaceMobile’s Founder, Chairman, and CEO. “We aim to bring seamless, reliable service to consumers and businesses across the continental U.S., transforming the way people connect and access information.”

Currently, AST SpaceMobile has just one test satellite in orbit, which it used to conduct successful voice call, text, and video calls to an unmodified smartphone last year.

Now, the company has five ‘Block 1’ satellites planned for launch in July or August in this year, enabling the launch of commercial services. These five satellites have been delayed for over a year due to supply chain issues related to satellite production.

Once in orbit, these five satellites will allow for non-continuous nationwide service in the US, with additional Block 1 satellites set to be launched to enhance services at a later date.

AST’s larger and more advanced ‘Block 2’ satellites will begin launching between December 2024 to March 2025.

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