An artist's render of the Bluewalker 3 Satellite by AST SpaceMobile while in orbit. Credits: Business Wire

AST SpaceMobile Secures $206.5 Million Investment from Industry Giants AT&T, Google, and Vodafone

AST SpaceMobile secures $206.5 million investment from industry giants AT&T, Google, and Vodafone, propelling space-based smartphone connectivity

AST SpaceMobile has announced a strategic investment of up to $206.5 million from telecommunications giants AT&T, Google, and Vodafone. This significant influx of capital, combined with the company’s existing senior-secured credit facility, hopes to propel AST SpaceMobile’s efforts to build the first-ever space-based cellular network directly accessible by everyday smartphones.

An artist's render of the Bluewalker 3 Satellite by AST SpaceMobile while in orbit. Credits: Business Wire
An artist’s render of the Bluewalker 3 Satellite by AST SpaceMobile while in orbit. Credits: Business Wire

The strategic investment includes a whopping $155 million from new investors AT&T and Google, with the steadfast support of existing investor Vodafone. This alliance of industry leaders shares the same confidence in AST SpaceMobile’s cutting-edge technology, and its commitment as emerging space-based cellular direct-to-device market.


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Background and future plans

AST SpaceMobile currently operates the BlueWalker 3 satellite, the largest-ever commercial communications array in low Earth orbit. The company’s patented design allows for direct broadband connectivity to standard, unmodified cellular devices, adhering to current cellular standards.

Notably, in 2023, the company achieved important milestones in space-based cellular communications, including 2G, 4G LTE, and 5G calls, as well as 14 Mbps download speeds per 5 MHz channels – all delivered directly to everyday smartphones.

BlueWalker 3 on the ground at the AST SpaceMobile Midland, Texas facility prior to launch on the left, and in space on the right. Credits: Business Wire
BlueWalker 3 on the ground at the AST SpaceMobile Midland, Texas facility prior to launch on the left, and in space on the right. Credits: Business Wire

The company’s planned operational satellites aim to support data transmission speeds of up to 120 Mbps, potentially eliminating cellular connectivity gaps globally. With over 40 agreements with mobile network operators worldwide, servicing over 2 billion subscribers collectively, the company is well positioned in a market that will become very competitive in the coming years.


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Relationships and expanded capabilities

“Each new partnership signifies that market leaders worldwide have tremendous confidence in our vision and ability to ensure that the future of cellular broadband is borderless,” said Abel Avellan, Chairman and CEO of AST SpaceMobile.

AT&T’s Executive Vice President, Chris Sambar, emphasized the possibilities that satellite connectivity offers: “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.”

Vodafone‘s CEO, Margherita Della Valle, highlighted the potential to make 5G broadband available everywhere: “Customers in remote rural areas will be able to benefit from fast and reliable 5G broadband directly to their existing smartphones without the need for specialist equipment.”

The strategic investment structure includes $110 million of 10-year subordinated convertible notes, a $20 million revenue commitment from AT&T, and a $25 million minimum revenue commitment from Vodafone. These commitments, along with non-dilutive commercial payments, are designed to support the commercial rollout of AST SpaceMobile’s network.

In addition to the financial support, the new investors have expanded their strategic and commercial ties. Vodafone and AT&T have placed purchase orders for network equipment, while Google and AST SpaceMobile plan to collaborate on product development, testing, and implementation for SpaceMobile network connectivity on Android devices.

The achievement of Space-Based 5G Cellular Broadband Connectivity from everyday smartphones seems to further solidifies AST SpaceMobile’s position as an industry leader.


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Edoardo Giammarino

Edoardo Giammarino

Co-Founder & Administrator. Drummer and Red Cross Volunteer, born in 1997. I like analog photography and videomaking. Firmly music-addicted.

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