AST SpaceMobile plans BlueWalker 3 direct-to-cell connectivity testing from space with mobile network operators on six continents
AST SpaceMobile, Inc. (“AST SpaceMobile”) (NASDAQ: ASTS), the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, today announced that its BlueWalker 3 test satellite (BW3) has arrived at Cape Canaveral. The satellite recently departed an off-site testing facility in California after collecting flight data for the upcoming planned launch to low Earth orbit, with a launch window for early to mid-September.
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AST SpaceMobile today announced that its BlueWalker 3 test satellite (BW3) has arrived at Cape Canaveral. (Photo: Business Wire)
“There are over five billion mobile phones in use today globally, but many of us still experience gaps in coverage as we live, work and travel. Additionally, there are billions of people around the world who still lack access to broadband,” said Scott Wisniewski, Chief Strategy Officer at AST SpaceMobile. “We want our efforts to significantly increase the availability of cellular broadband globally by providing a space-based network to existing, unmodified mobile phones. The delivery of BlueWalker 3 to Cape Canaveral represents another milestone in our efforts to reach this goal.”
The actual BW3 launch date remains subject to change and is contingent on a number of factors including, but not limited to, final testing, final integration, timely readiness of the launch vehicle and other unknowns including, but not limited to, weather conditions or technical problems.
Over the summer, AST SpaceMobile completed the assembly and stowing of BW3, including its 693-square-foot phased array of antennas, at the company’s Midland, TX headquarters and manufacturing facility. This large array of antennas is designed to connect directly to existing mobile phones from a much longer distance than traditional cell towers. In total, more than 800 tests were conducted on the satellite before it left Texas.
Members of the public will be able to watch a live broadcast of the launch online or view it in person at several public viewing locations throughout the Cape Canaveral area.
Once in low Earth orbit and following initial in-orbit testing and configuration, AST SpaceMobile plans to conduct BW3 direct-to-cell phone testing on every inhabited continent, in coordination with mobile network operators (MNOs). MNOs in the mission’s test plans include Vodafone, Rakuten Mobile, and Orange, among others, using cell phone handsets from major global manufacturers.
Concurrent with the launch of BW3, AST SpaceMobile continues to build out its manufacturing capabilities to reach its goal of building six next-generation BlueBird satellites per month. The company intends to launch a low Earth orbit constellation of BlueBirds that would provide cellular broadband from space across the globe – on land, at sea and in the air.
About AST SpaceMobile
AST SpaceMobile is building the first and only global cellular broadband network in space to operate directly with standard, 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, 2022.
The actual launch date for the BW3 test satellite remains subject to change and is contingent on a number of factors, many of which are outside of our control. These factors include, but are not limited to, final testing, final integration, ground transport, timely readiness of the launch vehicle and other unknowns such as weather conditions or technical problems. The BW3 test launch may not be successful or even if successful, 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 our timeline. If there are material additional costs, we may need to raise additional capital beyond what is currently contemplated.
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 Registration Statement filed with the SEC on March 31, 2022. AST SpaceMobile’s securities filings can be accessed on the EDGAR section of the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov [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.
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“We want our efforts to significantly increase the availability of cellular broadband globally by providing a space-based network to existing, unmodified mobile phones," said @scottwisniews, Chief Strategy Officer at AST SpaceMobile.
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