Advanced Television

Bank forecasts 56m subs for AST SpaceMobile

June 25, 2024

Deutsche Bank has delivered a favourable report on the prospects for would-be satellite-to-cellular operator AST SpaceMobile. The bank forecasts that by the end of 2006 it estimates AST will have more than 56 million subscribers to its satellite-to-cellular 5G system.

Currently, AST has only a single satellite in orbit (its BlueWalker 3 test craft) but will launch a batch of five more powerful satellites (its BlueBird versions) this summer on a SpaceX rocket. The company’s plans call for subsequent launches of 60 even larger satellites for a comprehensive global service. The bank’s view is that consumers will pay around $3 (€2.80) per month in order to access AST’s satellites via their terrestrial partners.

Deutsche Bank has recognised that AST’s impressive telco partnerships will help deliver those subscribers. The telcos already committed to AST include AT&T, Verizon and Vodafone. Verizon has publicly stated that it intends to use AST to guarantee 100 per cent cellular access to its US ‘not-spots’. But as well as these three named giants of the cellular world, AST has another 45 cellular partners and outlets around the world who have signed – at least – Memorandum of Understandings with AST.

By 2030, suggests the bank’s report AST could be generating a spectacular $7.5 billion in free cashflow. AST says it has agreements with operators globally who collectively serve over 2.8 billion existing subscribers.

These numbers have helped propel AST’s share price to stratospheric heights. In May alone, albeit from a low base, AST’s share price rocketed 263 per cent. A year ago its shares were trading at around $2 per share. Lately they’ve been as high as $11.75 (and a rise of 63 per cent during the past 6 months).

Deutsche Bank says that by the end of 2028 it estimates that AST could have 230 million subs, generating $4.4 billion in revenues, and $2.8 billion in free cashflow.

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