A few months ago a technological breakthrough was achieved by AST SpaceMobile making satellite calls with 4G for the first time. AST SpaceMobile in collaboration with the famous telecom company AT&T has successfully performed satellite-based mobile communications by connecting a Samsung Galaxy S22 to a satellite in low Earth orbit and completing a two-way talk. It can certainly be considered a milestone. The company is now focusing on optimizing this technology and is taking steps to make it available to all mobile users around the world.
Recently, AST conducted a number of experiments in Hawaii, and impressively, their engineers discovered download speeds of 10 Mbps on standard smartphones from their BlueWalker 3 satellite. This satellite-to-smartphone test brings us closer to the goal of ensuring seamless connectivity.
In this regard, AT&T’s network head, Chris Sambar, said
This development takes us one step closer to ensuring that people in the United States can stay connected wherever they are.
In the next phase, AST plans to establish a connection between a smartphone and their low orbit BW3 satellite via 5G connectivity.
Why is BW3 Satellite different?
BW3 satellite has the largest antenna ever among commercial satellites. The antenna covers over 693 square feet, which is stunning. However, there is a glitch. The satellite’s large size and brightness present challenges for astronomers conducting their research in the night sky.
At the same time, another famous mobile company, T-Mobile, revealed that it has partnered with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to conduct tests of devices compatible with the Starlink satellite system. Following AT&T, T-Mobile has also announced that existing phones will need to be made compatible with their satellite services.
SpaceX successfully launches 56 Starlink satellites to orbit