Advanced Television

AST SpaceMobile

AST SpaceMobile hit by delays

AST SpaceMobile is being rebranded to AST Networks. That was the one positive slice of news to emerge from its end-of-year results. The company’s overall news didn’t help confidence with investors and its share price crashed 13.6 per cent on April 1st and another 24 per cent on April 2nd. AST undoubtedly has a great […]

April 3, 2024By Chris Forrester

ITU filings cause problems for AST SpaceMobile

AST SpaceMobile wants to provide the planet’s smartphone owners with satellite-delivered 5G connectivity. The Texas-based company already has a massive prototype satellite in orbit, launched in September 2022, and claims that its technology is the world’s “first and only” global cellular broadband network and with 3,100 patents in place. But it has hit problems with […]

March 14, 2024By Chris Forrester

US outlines satellite phone framework

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has published its proposed framework which could allow satellite operators to use spectrum from terrestrial cellular businesses for their smartphone connections, and when beyond the reach of conventional mobile towers. Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC chair, says the final draft of rules have been sent to the regulator’s other four Commissioners that, […]

February 26, 2024

AST SpaceMobile wins Rakuten contract

Fledgling satellite operator AST SpaceMobile has signed up Japanese telco Rakuten to its planned direct-to-smartphone service. Rakuten says it will deploy AST services starting in 2026. Rakuten joins Vodafone, AT&T and Google to AST SpaceMobile’s growing club of telcos promising a satellite-based service. Other members of the club include Bell Canada and American Tower and […]

February 19, 2024By Chris Forrester

AST SpaceMobile could challenge Starlink

AST SpaceMobile wants to cover the planet with satellite signals that supply ‘direct-to-cellphone’ connectivity. It already has one satellite in orbit (BlueWalker 3) but says its next craft will be “100 times more powerful” in terms of processing bandwidth. AST recently struck agreements with AT&T, Vodafone and Google and says it has terrestrial links with […]

February 16, 2024

Coordination problem for AST SpaceMobile

Officials from satellite company AST SpaceMobile met with FCC officials on December 14th 2023 over a potential problem with its frequency registrations. AST is building a super-constellation of satellites with the intention of supply a ‘direct-to-smartphone’ service. AT&T, Vodafone and Google are investors in the company. AST is using Papua New Guinea (PNG) as its […]

February 7, 2024

Concerns over AST SpaceMobile’s 5G obligations

The US Rural Wireless Association (RWA) on February 1st wrote to FCC Jessica Rosenworcel about AST SpaceMobile and the satellite operator’s commitment to provide “supplemental coverage from space” at a minimum of 35 Mb/s download (and just 3 Mb/s upload) for broadband. AST is also looking to receive cash from the US government’s 5G Fund […]

February 6, 2024By Chris Forrester

Filing explains SpaceX’s Direct-2-Cell service

Chris Forrester There’s considerable interest in what various heavyweight suppliers might be doing in terms of Direct-2-Cell satellite telephony. Apple, Google, AST SpaceMobile and others, including SpaceX’s Starlink, are very busy in this area. A filing with the FCC from T-Mobile on January 18th (which is linked with Starlink) explains their intentions, and the practical […]

February 1, 2024By Chris Forrester

AST SpaceMobile raises an extra $14m

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 […]

January 31, 2024

Forbes: “2024 the year of LEO”

Forbes has declared that 2024 will be the ‘Year of Low Earth Orbit satellite services’ and expects the likes of Elon Musk’s Starlink to make significant inroads but with competition from other players. That competition could make the LEO segment a “crowded place”. February will see Mobile World Congress take place in Barcelona where satellite-based […]

January 30, 2024By Chris Forrester