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AST SpaceMobile Reports 5G Broadband Speeds Via Satellite 

By Rachel Jewett | September 19, 2023

AST SpaceMobile reports making a 5G call via satellite. Screenshot via AST SpaceMobile/YouTube

AST SpaceMobile claims it achieved a 5G connection for voice and data between an unmodified smartphone and its BlueWalker 3 satellite in space. 

The company announced Tuesday that its engineers made a call from a wireless dead zone in Maui, Hawaii, to a Vodafone engineer in Madrid, Spain, using AT&T spectrum and AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 test satellite. The company said it completed 5G connectivity testing with partners Vodafone, AT&T, and Nokia.

AST SpaceMobile shared a video of an engineer in a remote area, calling a Vodafone representative in Spain. “I can hear you perfectly,” the AST SpaceMobile engineer says in the video. 

In a separate test, the company broke its previous broadband data session record with a download rate of approximately 14 Mbps.

AST SpaceMobile CEO Abel Avellan said the company’s testing campaign has demonstrated compatibility with phones made by all major manufacturers and support for 2G, 4G LTE, and now 5G. The company recently secured funding for its first five commercial satellites in loans and a credit facility. 

AT&T’s Head of Network, Chris Sambar, called it an “extraordinary milestone in telecommunications history.”

“These first-of-a-kind innovations would not be possible without ecosystem-wide collaboration. We’re all working together to achieve the shared vision of space-based connectivity for consumers, businesses and first responders all around the globe,” Sambar said. 

Read more: AST SpaceMobile’s chief strategy officer discussed the company’s business strategy last week at World Satellite Business Week.