BlueWalker closes gap between haves and have nots
AST SpaceMobile, a pioneer of connecting satellite broadband to standard mobile phones, is to launch its BlueWalker 3 test satellite on August 15 in Florida’s Cape Canaveral space complex. its CEO Abel Avellan has spoken of the satellite company’s mission to close the class gap between the haves and have nots in the hierarchical that’s been society created by Big Tech.
Cuts out the muddle man
BlueWalker 3 has a 693-square-foot phased array designed to test cellular broadband communications directly with standard mobile phones, from space. The ability to set up a direct conversation between satellites and subscribers is being attempted for the first time in history and could have wider ramifications for telcos. AST SpaceMobile has spent $85 million on the satellite’s development and the company’s engineers have successfully conducted more than 800 ground tests with BlueWalker 3. To date, the company has over 2,300 patent and patent-pending claims in support of its technology. The BlueWalker 3 mission is expected to complete the company’s initial research and development program and facilitate integration testing with mobile network operators around the world.
“BlueWalker 3 is the culmination of years of effort to connect the phone in your pocket directly with one of our satellites without modifications,” said Abel Avellan, Chairman and CEO of AST SpaceMobile. “Our mission is to eliminate the connectivity gaps faced by more than 5 billion mobile subscribers today moving in and out of coverage,and bring cellular broadband to approximately half of the world’s population who remain unconnected. We want to close the gap between the digital haves and the have nots.”
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted AST SpaceMobile an experimental license that allows the company to test BlueWalker 3 satellite-to-phone connectivity in the United States at sites in Texas and Hawaii. Once BlueWalker 3 is operational, the company plans to conduct testing on 5 different continents, in coordination with leading mobile network operators like Vodafone, Rakuten Mobile and Orange. AST SpaceMobile’s investors and strategic partners in support of the company and its mission are leaders in cellular technology and infrastructure, digital services and the internet, including Vodafone, Rakuten Mobile and American Tower.
The launch date is subject to change and contingent on multiple factors such as final testing, final integration, ground transport, timely readiness of the launch vehicle and other unknowns. Weather conditions and technical problems are just two of the other variables of concern.