Below are answers to common questions about AST & Science’s space-based network that will be the first to connect directly to 4G – and in the future 5G – smartphones without any need for specialized satellite hardware. 

No other company can deliver broadband from space to the mobile phones everyone already has. Other LEO satellites – current and planned – require costly and often network-specific satellite phones, terminals or antennas. Wireless subscribers will connect to SpaceMobile with their current mobile phone or IoT device.

The technology is highly proprietary, and exactly how it works cannot be disclosed. We can say that our engineers and space scientists have designed an entirely new form factor and deployment method that significantly reduce the time and costs associated with manufacturing, launching and operating satellites.

Our team also has worked – and continues to work – closely with mobile network operators to ensure compatibility with today’s wireless networks, including 5G.

Today, more than 5 billion mobile subscribers are constantly moving in and out of wireless coverage. AST’s solution will fill these coverage gaps so everyone will stay seamlessly connected as they move about their everyday lives, no matter where they are.

To bridge these gaps economically and quickly, AST designed and patented a modular LEO satellite system that will be significantly less costly to build and launch than legacy satellite systems. Because of its uniqueness and proprietary nature, the company cannot disclose more specifics at this time.

We are letting our mobile-network-operating partners publish their own service dates, but we can say it will be in the next few years.

No, SpaceMobile will be the first and only space-based network to work with standard mobile phones. No separate or specialized satellite hardware is required.

No, our proprietary technology enables access to SpaceMobile from any location — even inside — regardless of visibility to the satellites on orbit.

AST’s proprietary satellites will be constructed and launched from our corporate headquarters and high-volume manufacturing plant in Midland, Texas. This 85,000 sq. ft. facility is located within the Midland International Air and Space Port, the first commercial airport to obtain a space port license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The collocation of the high-volume manufacturing and direct airside access with horizontal launch capability, using carrier aircraft at the Midland Space Port, will be an important element our planned rapid LEO satellite deployments.

The facility is one of the largest “NewSpace” manufacturing facilities in the United States and will create more than 160 space manufacturing jobs in Midland. Read more.

AST Midland International Air and Space Port
AST's corporate headquarters and high-volume manufacturing facility in Midland, Texas

In the short and long term, SpaceMobile will serve all mobile subscribers who lose service when they travel or when traditional networks become congested for any reason. Plus, it will connect unserved and underserved people in medium- and low-density areas around the world.

The addressable cellular broadband market is in excess of $1 trillion (USD), with over 5 billion people constantly moving in and out of cellular coverage. Additionally, approximately 1 billion people are out of normal cellular range and remain unconnected.

SpaceMobile will become an extension of land cellular networks to fill coverage gaps and enable connectivity everywhere. ​AST will sell SpaceMobile airtime to mobile operators under a wholesale business model. The operator will, in turn, offer expanded and/or new connectivity plans to ​their subscribers.

Our Mission

Our team of engineers and space scientists is on a mission to eliminate the connectivity gaps faced by today’s 5 billion mobile subscribers and finally bring broadband to the billions who remain unconnected.