Advanced Television

AST SpaceMobile raises an extra $14m

January 31, 2024

Such is the market’s enthusiasm for AST SpaceMobile’s prospects that the company’s financial underwriters have successfully placed another 4.83 million shares and, after fees and expenses, the net proceeds will be $14.1 million (€13m).

Texas-based AST is proposing a global satellite ‘direct-to-smartphone’ service to commence within the next year or so. Last week it received financial support from three major names, Google, AT&T and Vodafone. Their cash, totalling some $263 million, will enable AST to make rapid progress with its next two batches of satellites. It already has one very large craft in orbit (BlueWalker 3).

The first batch of satellites will launch in Q2/2024, although later than originally expected, and are likely to be carried in a single SpaceX craft. That first batch (probably 10) of the larger Version 2 craft should be in orbit by the end of 2024. These larger satellites will eventually number 25 and enable AST to provide continuous service to the most commercially attractive Mobile Network Operator (MNO) markets although within a restricted range of latitudes.

The overall plan at the moment is for a fleet of 95 satellites (against an earlier expectation of 110) and enough capacity for a near-global service. That could be expanded to ss many as 168 craft although reports suggest that the target is very dynamic and the number of satellites in orbit should not be seen as absolute.

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