MIDLAND, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by everyday smartphones, is providing its business update for the three months ended March 31, 2023.
“AST SpaceMobile is making history,” said Abel Avellan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AST SpaceMobile. “Completing the first-ever direct voice connection from our BlueWalker 3 test satellite in space to everyday cellular devices in April was hailed by our partners and leaders in the wireless ecosystem as the latest ‘first’ that changed the way people connect. This accomplishment validated our technology in orbit, and confirmed we have the ability to connect with everyday smartphones from all major handset manufacturers in a market with over five billion mobile devices in use today.”
- Completed successful first-ever two-way voice calls from space directly to everyday unmodified smartphones using the BlueWalker 3 (“BW3”) test satellite
- Key milestone in the BW3 testing program validates the satellite technology, including the ability to work with everyday smartphones and ability to integrate with the existing cellular ecosystem, including spectrum
- Testing plan has transitioned to demonstration of 4G and 5G download speeds
- Confirmed no major changes to the design of the Block 1 satellites following BlueWalker 3 testing
- Manufacturing underway in Midland, Texas, with production on track for planned launch of five Block 1 BlueBird satellites in Q1 2024
- Signed spectrum lease agreement with AT&T, a first step to offering commercial service to AT&T customers in the U.S., contingent upon regulatory approval and execution of a definitive commercial agreement
First Quarter 2023 Financial Highlights
- Ended the first quarter with cash, cash equivalents, and restricted cash of $185.7 million
- Total operating expenses increased by $1.9 million to $44.5 million for the first quarter of 2023, as compared to $42.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2022, due to a $1.7 million increase in research and development costs, $0.5 million increase in engineering services and $0.5 million increase in depreciation and amortization costs, offset by a $0.8 million decrease in general and administrative costs
- As of March 31, 2023, the Company incurred $92.5 million of capitalized costs (including launch costs and non-recurring engineering costs) related to the assembly, testing and deployment of the BlueWalker 3 test satellite
- As of March 31, 2023, the Company incurred approximately $66.5 million of capitalized property and equipment costs related to development of assembly, integration, and test facilities in Texas, as well as satellite related purchases including assembly equipment, direct materials and antennas
Conference Call Information
AST SpaceMobile will hold a quarterly business update conference call at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Monday, May 15, 2023. The call will be accessible via a live webcast on the Events page of AST SpaceMobile’s Investor Relations website at https://ast-science.com/investors/. An archive of the webcast will be available shortly after the call.
About AST SpaceMobile
AST SpaceMobile is building the first and only global cellular broadband network in space to operate directly with everyday unmodified mobile devices based on our extensive IP and patent portfolio. Our engineers and space scientists are on a mission to eliminate the connectivity gaps faced by today’s five billion mobile subscribers and finally bring broadband to the billions who remain unconnected. For more information, follow AST SpaceMobile on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Watch this video for an overview of the SpaceMobile mission.
This communication contains “forward-looking statements” that are not historical facts, and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results of AST SpaceMobile to differ materially from those expected and projected. These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the words “believes,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “potential,” “projects,” “predicts,” “continue,” or “should,” or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology.
These forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from the expected results. Most of these factors are outside AST SpaceMobile’s control and are difficult to predict. Factors that may cause such differences include, but are not limited to: (i) expectations regarding AST SpaceMobile’s strategies and future financial performance, including AST’s future business plans or objectives, expected functionality of the SpaceMobile Service, anticipated timing and level of deployment of satellites, anticipated demand and acceptance of mobile satellite services, prospective performance and commercial opportunities and competitors, the timing of obtaining regulatory approvals, ability to finance its research and development activities, commercial partnership acquisition and retention, products and services, pricing, marketing plans, operating expenses, market trends, revenues, liquidity, cash flows and uses of cash, capital expenditures, and AST’s ability to invest in growth initiatives; (ii) the negotiation of definitive agreements with mobile network operators relating to the SpaceMobile service that would supersede preliminary agreements and memoranda of understanding; (iii) the ability of AST SpaceMobile to grow and manage growth profitably and retain its key employees and AST SpaceMobile’s responses to actions of its competitors and its ability to effectively compete; (iv) changes in applicable laws or regulations; (v) the possibility that AST SpaceMobile may be adversely affected by other economic, business, and/or competitive factors; (vi) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against AST SpaceMobile; and (vii) other risks and uncertainties indicated in the Company’s filings with the SEC, including those in the Risk Factors section of AST SpaceMobile’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 31, 2023.
The planned testing of the BW3 test satellite may not be completed due to a variety of factors, which could include loss of satellite connectivity, destruction of the satellite, or other communication failures, and even if completed as planned, the BW3 testing may indicate adjustments that are needed or modifications that must be made, any of which could result in additional costs, which could be material, and delays in commercializing our service. If there are delays or issues with our testing, it may become more costly to raise capital, if we are able to do so at all.
AST SpaceMobile cautions that the foregoing list of factors is not exclusive. AST SpaceMobile cautions readers not to place undue reliance upon any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. For information identifying important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors incorporated by reference into AST SpaceMobile’s Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 31, 2023. AST SpaceMobile’s securities filings can be accessed on the EDGAR section of the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Except as expressly required by applicable securities law, AST SpaceMobile disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.